This answer from 2011 doesn't work for me:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles true
killall Finder

I still can't see .DS_Store for example, .localized, ._. etc

cmd shift . also doesn't work.

I can see other dotfiles after I use cmd shift ., just not ._.*, .DS_Store, .localized so far.

  • 2
    Some dot files, e.g. .DS_Store, you can see in Terminal using e.g. ls -a however the ones you used to see in Finder and cannot now see them is because Finder is programmed to not show those files files even with it's set to show hidden files. The ._* and ._.* are extended attributes/resource fork files and normally cannot be seen in Terminal or Finder when properly associated/linked to their normal files or if created on a filesystem which does support them and either viewed from Finder or brought back to an HFS+/APFS filesystem. Dec 29, 2020 at 23:54
  • CMD SHIFT . works for me on Catalina 10.15.7 You need to hold down all 3 keys to toggle between viewing and hiding hidden files. What is your experience?
    – mhaselup
    Dec 30, 2020 at 1:17
  • Create a (temporary) user account. Log in and try the COMMAND-SHIFT-[PERIOD]. If it works then you have something installed that is hijacking or preventing that option. If it STILL doesn't work, try a Safe Boot. If that doesn't work then you may have an issue with your install of macOS Dec 30, 2020 at 1:20
  • @user3439894 thanks for the technical insight. I've asked a new question based on this apple.stackexchange.com/q/410076/150109
    – minseong
    Dec 30, 2020 at 1:47

2 Answers 2


Finder supportsCommand+Shift+. to toggle hidden files. This is the same as using the defaults write command you list.

As of a recent version of macOS, this does not show .DS_Store, and there is no way to show .DS_Store files in Finder. There are likely other files that have the same exceptions applied to them. To view these files, use the terminal:

ls -a

Files that do not appear with ls -a either don't exist or cannot be viewed regardless of configuration.


Well, I don't know about showing files starting with "." in the finder, but you can just as easily do what you want in the terminal. Just open the terminal go to the directory you want ( you start from your home directory you can use the "cd" command followed by the directory name like this: cd desktop or cd download. Once you are in the desired directory you can type ls -la to see a list of all the files and folders included the hidden ones that start with a "." You can open the files using the open command followed by the file name. You can also go inside the hidden directory by using the same cd command from before followed by the directory name.


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