I have a few invisible files. I want to turn them into visible files. That is, I do not just want to make my invisible files show up in the Finder (I have that already, -they all show up) - but I'd like to turn them into normal, unhidden files, just like all my other files.

How can I do this on my Mac?

  • 5
    How did you term them invisible in the first place? Can you share some details about file names and the content of the "Get Info" pane?
    – nohillside
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 11:13
  • 1
    Are these files which are usually hidden by macOS, or files you have created?
    – IconDaemon
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 12:02

2 Answers 2


There are two ways that I know of to hide a file on macOS:

  1. Start the file name with a . (period) -- this is carry over from Unix systems and the Finder still to this day honors the tradition.

  2. Assign the hidden attribute to the file. To do this, you would use the chflags command-line program via the Terminal app.

Thus to reveal all hidden items in the Finder, one would have to do two things:

  1. Enable in Finder viewing of items that start with a . (period). This is what you have already done.

  2. Find all files and folders with the hidden attribute and remove the attribute with chflags nohidden. You can script this with various command-line programs or you could use something like Batchmod application do to so for you.

  • 1
    Note that chflags nohidden will not work on any SIP protected directory or file as long as it's enabled. Also, sudo chflags nohidden will be needed on any directory or file owned by root, unless logged in as root in Terminal. Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 13:13

To unhide hidden files that don't start with a dot, use the xattr command under macOS Terminal:

xattr -d com.apple.FinderInfo /my/hidden_file

(you can drag&drop /my/hidden_file from the Finder if you want)

Disclaimer: this will remove ALL the FinderInfo extended attributes, not only the hidden attribute. Though this is generally safe, it's good to be advised about it.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .