I have a folder that starts with a dot . but am unable to display it in Finder.
How can I say that for folder x, Finder should also display hidden files/folders?

  • I'll just plug that Lion works the same as Snow Leopard with the hidden preference AppleShowAllFiles and Finder.
    – bmike
    Jul 25, 2011 at 19:42
  • 13
    As of macOS 10.12, Finder supports ⇧⌘. to toggle visibility of hidden files. Dec 7, 2016 at 16:59
  • I have not yet found a solution that shows dotfiles by default in "open file" Finder dialogs spawned by other apps
    – Plato
    Feb 1, 2018 at 1:28
  • @Plato defaults write -g AppleShowAllFiles -bool true will show dotfiles in "open file dialogs" permanently. See link
    – wisbucky
    Feb 14, 2022 at 6:49

4 Answers 4


I don't think you can set this for individual folders. To set it globally, so that Finder always shows hidden files, run Terminal and enter the following two commands:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles true
killall Finder

To switch back, do the same but substitute false for true.

This works all the way through macOS Catalina (and betas for Big Sur).

  • This still works up to El Capitan - see apple.stackexchange.com/questions/258733/… for an Automator/hot key method.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 26, 2016 at 10:04
  • 36
    Link to the best answer from the above linked question (the accepted answer is not the one you want). TLDR: you want to use the keyboard shortcut shift + cmd + period to make the finder show/hide these files. apple.stackexchange.com/a/264473/47407
    – Sunil D.
    Sep 4, 2017 at 17:33
  • This method doesnt seem to work in 10.13.5. At least its not showing any files starting with dot in the finder. Jul 31, 2018 at 17:27
  • Worked for me now in 10.14.1 Dec 11, 2018 at 23:14
  • 4
    thank you @SunilD. Using the shift + cmd + period is much better than changing defaults permanently. Most times I don't need to see the hidden .git and .idea and other hidden files. I wish your comment was the accepted answer. I'm on MacOS Mojave 10.14.6 and it works great Aug 22, 2019 at 1:52

In the Finder, press CommandShift. to show hidden files & folders.


I myself use hiddenfiles widget. it's so easy to use.

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Beside that you can use free 3rd-party software like Deeper or TinkerTool.

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  • 1
    Another +1 for the Hidden Files widget. Quick and easy. Jan 3, 2011 at 20:22
  • 2
    At the time of writing the download link for the Hidden Files widget is broken.
    – saw-lau
    Jul 24, 2011 at 9:07
  • 1
    @saw-lau I test the link at it's fine now.
    – Am1rr3zA
    Jul 24, 2011 at 14:22
  • Links to hiddenFiles/Deeper/TinkerTool are broken and landing page has no information about them. Apr 15, 2013 at 5:40
  • 1
    @Am1rr3zA - Deeper link is still only to AppStore the others are OK
    – mmmmmm
    Apr 15, 2013 at 10:50

You can customize Finder through Terminal commands such that it defaults to show/hide hidden files.

To show hidden files and restart Finder:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES; killall Finder /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app

To hide hidden files and restart Finder:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles NO; killall Finder /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app


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