For whatever reason, I created a folder on my Mac called customer.app, and it contains a python module. I want to open that folder and it's files in applications like BBEdit and GitX, but the open dialog shows this folder as greyed out and won't let me select them.

Are there any settings or properties I can set on this folder to tell my Mac that it is just a regular old folder?

8 Answers 8


As others have said, a simple right click in a regular Finder window will make it possible to "show package contents".

For a file open dialog, use the "Go to location" functionality (⌘ Cmd+⇧ Shift+G) and type the full path to a subfolder or subfile of the package. For example...


After doing that, you can browse around inside the folder normally.


UPDATE: Recent versions of OS X have removed this ability. The answer below applies to OS X 10.9 or earlier.

A simple right-click of the folder will enable you to view the contents using "Show Package Contents."

If you're trying to access the folder from a Save/Open dialog, then try changing your view type from icons to Column mode.


  • 1
    This no longer seems to work in 10.11. When I right click the only options that appear are "Rename, Move to Trash, Duplicate, Quick Look"
    – gman
    Jan 6, 2016 at 5:03
  • This works in 10.11.6.
    – VE7JRO
    Dec 9, 2022 at 2:01

It is doing this due to the name of the folder, ending in .app

Applications on Mac OS (and iOS for that matter) are actually 'app bundles', containing various resources and executables in a folder ending with .app.

The reason this is grayed out is because the Save/Open box would automatically filter those out.

In Mountain Lion on my MacBook Air, if I do the same thing by making a folder with .app at the end, it asks if you are sure you want to do it, and then won't even let you open it through Finder. Much less use and open or save dialog.

I would recommend renaming the folder if you can. It looks like you may have to do this through Terminal. That would be just as easy as running mv customer.app customerdotapp.

I do not know of a workaround on allowing the .app at the end of the folder name.


In Finder you can view the contents of a folder whose name ends in .app by doing:

CTRL+left click->Show package contents

  • Is there a way to "advance" into a package/bundle in Column view? specifically, in Xcode, I need to select an executable to run when setting up a workspace scheme (Xcode 7.x - latest) but it "stops" on the border of my ".app" bundle, and will dig no further. I want to debug my "user agent" that resides within the package itself... Feb 29, 2016 at 14:31

I know this thread is old, but am sharing in case someone stumbles across it as I did. On my Yosemite based Mac, it appears that naming a directory with the .service extension also has the same effect. Changing the extension name in the command line to something else allowed it to be accessed in Finder.

This may be true on older Mac O/S's; I don't know for sure. Since my folder did not have the .app extension, this thread helped me to at least try changing the extension name as a test. I was not aware of this issue until I found this thread.


Some programs allow you to drag files from a finder window.

If that doesn't work, try shift-command-g and type the folder name (something like /Applications/program.app/Contents ) and browse from there.

Should work in all OS versions.

  • Not sure why this was downvoted. Shift-Command-G was the only solution that worked for me in this case. Jun 28, 2018 at 15:00
  1. Type Command + Shift + G.

  2. Type your path for the application Eg: /Applications/ReadyAPI.

  3. Right click on the application and select show package contents.


One application which allows you to open .app bundles is BBEdit. You just need to select open file from inside BBEDit then navigate to the application and it will show the enclosed files and allow you to open them. Other full-featured text editors presumably do the same. NB This does work on modern versions of MacOSX (tested on 11.2, BigSur)

  • The question already says that BBEdit works - the question is how to do this in apps that are not BBEdit
    – mmmmmm
    Apr 23, 2021 at 7:56
  • Fair point that I did not read the question details and failed to notice he mentioned BBEdit... but curiously enough the question details state that BBEdit does NOT work with his .app folder, whereas it currently does. Apr 24, 2021 at 8:14

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