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Problem: because of an unkown reason all my desktop files and folders were hidden. i managed do unhide all folders, but i can't unhide the files

i tried to unhide the files via terminal chflags nohidden filename but it doesn't work. i also checked if the hidden flag is placed, but there is no hidden flag on the files (but they aren't visible). here is the output via terminalcommand ls -lo:

-rw-r--r--@ 1 username 13669 19 Aug 11:54 filename.txt

i also tried an app called InvisibliX (which isn't under development anymore), with no success and of course i used the searching function, which lead me to this: How to unhide files on Mac? with no further success

I'm thankful for every hint you may have for me!

Some additional information regarding the OS: Mac OS X Catalina 10.15.6

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    So you did run chflags nohidden filename.txt and it didn't work? – nohillside Aug 31 at 9:25
  • yes, i tried the command. i also checked if chflags hidden filename.txtsets a flag (i checked via ls -lo but there was no change – schwing Aug 31 at 10:13
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    Your title & question body say you used unhide, which is not a valid command. Could you clarify which you in fact used. Does sudo make any difference? [as the files show only owner has permissions to write] Can you see the files if you set Finder to show invisibles Cmd/Shift/. stop/period? Do you see any error message? – Tetsujin Aug 31 at 10:35
  • Long shot, but you might also try xattr -d com.apple.FinderInfo [directory] – Wowfunhappy Aug 31 at 11:25
  • @Tetsujin: you were right, i had written de command wrong (but only in the text here, not when i was trying to execute the command in the terminal. i made sure to not execute an invalid command. i have corrected the command in the text above (it's nohiddeninstead of unhide. an yes, i can see the files if i toggle the view setting via Cmd/Shift/. No error messages – schwing Aug 31 at 13:53
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I answered the same question and OP reported that the files got unhidden at first but got hidden later on. Looks like a bug to me.


It seems you need a recursive flag.

chflags -R nohidden ~/Desktop/folder

Then kill Finder to restart it.

killall Finder
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  • i tried this on the files, but it didn't work. i also checked the flag via ls -lo after restarting finder, but there where no changes on the file – schwing Aug 31 at 13:55
  • @schwing See updated answer – anki Aug 31 at 14:05
  • that's exactly the same issue on my mac! i tried the solution procedure, but it doesn't work on files, only on folders. is there maybe a workaround, to copy files with the right (nohidden) flag? – schwing Aug 31 at 14:25
  • sorry I don't know.. – anki Oct 1 at 7:21

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