I came across this issue in my new mac book pro. I created a folder using iterm and I have some content on it (I cloned a git repo). When I go to finder I don't see it.

So maybe I'm not in the right folder... but I tried to create the folder in the finder and I get the "folder already exists" error but still I don't see it.

Im using mojave 10.14.1

  • 1
    show us how you did it in iterm
    – Ruskes
    Nov 23, 2018 at 17:45

2 Answers 2


One of the most probable cause for this to happen is that you inadvertently entered a name which the Finder isn't able to display correctly (or doesn't display to protect us from the complexity of the underlying Unix filesystem).

To check this hypothesis, please from iTerm go into the parent directory of the one you created let's say its name is foo bar and enter:

ls -aBdl 'foo bar'

The -B option will display any non printable character as a \xxx where xxx is the octal value of the non printable character. This option is very helpful to deal with filenames which cause problems to shells and graphical interfaces like the Finder.


Unless you gave it a very common name you can use locate filename from the terminal. This will list all occurrences of the character string 'filename'. It lists the complete path of all the matches it finds. I would go to the directory above the one you thought you created file in and run the locate command from there.

  • The database used by locate usually lags behind the actual content of the disk. Might be better to run find ~ -type d -name FOLDERNAME instead.
    – nohillside
    Nov 25, 2018 at 17:56
  • Yep. i knew that but forgot. Thanks for the correction.
    – Natsfan
    Nov 25, 2018 at 18:13
  • You can immediately update the database by on a Mac by typing sudo /usr/libexec/locate.updatedb but this may take longer than you wish to wait.
    – Natsfan
    Nov 25, 2018 at 18:51

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