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 '11 at 19:42
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    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 '18 at 1:28

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 '16 at 10:04
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    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 '18 at 17:27
  • Worked for me now in 10.14.1 – Stephen Tetreault Dec 11 '18 at 23:14
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    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 – Rich Sadowsky Aug 22 '19 at 1:52

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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    Another +1 for the Hidden Files widget. Quick and easy. – Matthew Frederick Jan 3 '11 at 20:22
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    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
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    @Am1rr3zA - Deeper link is still only to AppStore the others are OK – mmmmmm Apr 15 '13 at 10:50

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


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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