I want to choose a file under hidden directories on any application but Finder, but it seems to be not shown. For example, if I put a file called my.terminal under ~/Dropbox/.hidden/, and try to choose the file on Terminal (Preferences -> Profiles -> Import), I could not reach the file because it is, I think, put under a hidden directory. The file is not searchable on the search box.

In this case, I first have to copy the file to other directories that are non-visible, and then choose the file again. This is quite painstaking and I want to avoid it, but is this possible on macOS (Big Sur)?

I already set the Finder such that it shows hidden files, but this has no effect on other applications.

  • Does "Hotkey to show hidden files and folders in File Open dialog?" answer your question? Jan 26, 2021 at 7:15
  • @GordonDavisson Hmmm partially. I was able to show the hidden files with command+shift+. or go to a directory with (command+shift+g) on 3rd-party applications and find the file I want, but the search does not get me the file I want.
    – Blaszard
    Jan 26, 2021 at 7:20
  • Spotlight will not index hidden or system files, even if you have them visible, so the first part can be done, but not the second.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 26, 2021 at 7:39
  • @Tetsujin I see. Could you then write it in an answer?
    – Blaszard
    Jan 26, 2021 at 7:43

1 Answer 1


As noted, you have found how to show invisibles, in Finder and in file-picker dialogs…

You are going to be hampered, however, by the fact that Spotlight will not index hidden or System locations, so they will not show up in search.

A potential partial workaround would be to open your destination folder in Finder before you need it in an app. Then, when you are presented with any file-picker dialog, you can drag that folder into the dialog & the file-picker will go to that location.

You must log in to answer this question.

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