I have a folder that starts with a dot . but unable to display them 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 '11 at 19:42
  • 5
    As of macOS 10.12, Finder supports ⇧⌘. to toggle visibility of hidden files. – Quinn Taylor Dec 7 '16 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 at 1:28
up vote 46 down vote accepted

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 still works up to El Capitan - see apple.stackexchange.com/questions/258733/… for an Automator/hot key method. – Tetsujin Oct 26 '16 at 10:04
  • 3
    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 '17 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. – John Little Jul 31 at 17:27

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. – Matthew Frederick Jan 3 '11 at 20:22
  • 2
    At the time of writing the download link for the Hidden Files widget is broken. – saw-lau Jul 24 '11 at 9:07
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    @saw-lau I test the link at it's fine now. – Am1rr3zA Jul 24 '11 at 14:22
  • Links to hiddenFiles/Deeper/TinkerTool are broken and landing page has no information about them. – Varun Bhatia Apr 15 '13 at 5:40
  • 1
    @Am1rr3zA - Deeper link is still only to AppStore the others are OK – Mark Apr 15 '13 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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