How do I toggle hidden files on/off?

In previous versions of OSX this was ⌘ Command⇧ Shift.

It's not working anymore for me on macOS Big Sur.

3 Answers 3


⌘ Command⇧ Shift. still works. Check Keyboard Shortcuts to see if you have a shortcut overriding the toggle hidden files action

To permanently show hidden files, open terminal and type:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles true; killall Finder 
  • does not work in big sur Dec 15, 2020 at 6:14
  • I can confirm it works in BigSur 11.1
    – Camaleo
    Dec 19, 2020 at 7:46
  • work on bigsur 11.0.1
    – Kamil
    May 28, 2021 at 2:30
  • Works on Big Sur 11.4
    – pdaawr
    Jun 30, 2021 at 10:04
  • 1
    On a French (AZERTY) keyboard the dot can only be typed by pressing Shift + ; So on a French keyboard the shortcut is Fn + Cmd + Shift + ; Nov 11, 2021 at 10:35

I can confirm it works on Big Sur 11.1 (20C69). However I can also explain why it doesn't work sometimes.

Apple decided to create shortcuts to go backward and forward in the history, which is great! However they use the following key combinations:

  • backward: ⌘ Command⇧ Shift,
  • forward: ⌘ Command⇧ Shift.

The forward shortcut takes precedence over the one used to toggle hidden files. So, if you want to show hidden files, make sure to be at the end of your history so you cannot go forward, that way you will be able to toggle hidden files.

  • End of your history??? What do you mean? I found an application showing hidden files nektony.com/funter Aug 3, 2021 at 21:48
  • I mean when you can't go forward in your history (the right arrow is disabled), because you are at the end of the it :)
    – Nesk
    Aug 4, 2021 at 12:00

on macOS Big Sur 11.1 I had to use YES and NO instead of true or false as parameters to:

$ defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles


$ defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES; killall Finder
  • 1
    fwiw, defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles true; killall Finder worked fine for me on macOS Big Sur 11.1. Dec 25, 2020 at 2:27

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