To see my /etc folder I've tried this command in Terminal:

sudo chflags nohidden /etc

followed by:

sudo defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles true; killall Finder

also tried:

sudo defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YES; killall Finder

Neither of them seemed to work.

  • What happens if you do xattr -d com.apple.FinderInfo /etc? (In addition to the nohidden flag you already set) – Wowfunhappy Oct 24 '18 at 14:56
  • Good question Martijn. It seems Apple sneakily revoked the chflags controlling power. Did you find the answer how to make chflags work? – Captain Fogetti Dec 28 '18 at 6:16
  • 1
    Sadly no but the UI solution worked for me. – Martijn Verburg Dec 29 '18 at 16:41


This keystroke toggles between show & hide the hidden files:

Cmd ⌘ Shift ⇧ . (that’s a FULL STOP, period character)

Press again to toggle back and forth.

When you reboot your Mac, the hidden files will be hidden. Press the keystroke again to show.


In Terminal.app, paste:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -boolean true; killall Finder 

This changes the default setting to show hidden files. And this causes the Finder to restart, so you can see the effect. This new setting persists even after rebooting your Mac.

To revert to hiding again the hidden files, change that true to a false and run again in Terminal.

  • This is not the same that the original user wants. The original poster wants to change the hidden attribute of the file so that becomes unhidden permanently. What you are suggesting requires to change the finder visibility every time you open a new finder window. Not to mention that it will still be hidden in other applications. – Captain Fogetti Dec 28 '18 at 6:13
  • Not to mention that what you linked as a duplicate answer is the exact opposite that the user wants. What you linked is showing hidden files without the terminal. What the poster wants is changing file attributes within the terminal. You completely misunderstood the question. – Captain Fogetti Dec 28 '18 at 6:15
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    Can't add a new answer, but opening Terminal and pasting defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -boolean true; killall Finder worked for me – MeltingDog Dec 31 '18 at 6:37
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    On non english keyboard you also need to use fn key in the keys combination – mems May 5 '19 at 13:38
  • 1
    You said "but is a bit pointless now there's a quick Key Command." and it is not at all pointless if that is what someone wants so as not to have to continue to press ⇧⌘.. The change ⇧⌘. makes is not persistent across reboots or quitting Finder if necessary or needed for some reason. Personally I do not want to see hidden files all the time and when I do... ⇧⌘. is a nice feature, press it, takes a look, and press it again. – user3439894 May 5 '19 at 13:52

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