I've noticed something strange in Finder since upgrading to Mountain Lion; any hidden folder or files (that I've already run defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE for) can only be opened by manually Ctrl-clicking the it and selecting Open. Is there a way I can modify Finder's behavior to be able to double-click and open hidden files and folders as was possible on Lion?

  • How are your folder/s hidden? is its names starting with a leading "dot" or does it have the Invisible bit set?
    – MrDaniel
    Sep 6, 2012 at 13:15
  • either way a folder is hidden, @MrDaniel , I cannot double-click any of them to open them
    – Ethan Lee
    Sep 7, 2012 at 4:28
  • I made ~/Library visible, and double-click works on it as normal.
    – GEdgar
    Sep 10, 2012 at 17:36

2 Answers 2


Its looks like this might be a Mountain Lion Bug and a bug report has been submitted to Apple for this issue. Additionally, after some testing its seems that hidden files and folders will not open when double-clicked from with in a Finder window that has an icons, lists, or Cover Flow view selected.

Note: For the Cover flow view double-click does not work in the list view, yet double clicking items in the cover flow section will cause the file or folder to open.

Note: If you double-click hidden files/folders on the desktop they open as expected, which seems odd, and kind of indicates that this not working in most Finder window views is just a bug.

Work Arounds until the bug (hopefully its a bug and not a new feature) is fixed by Apple:

Use the "column" or "Cover Flow" Finder views.

  • With column view selected hidden folders just open when clicked on, and hidden files open as expected when double-clicked.

Finder Column view selected

  • With the Cover Flow view selected the work around is two steps.

    1. Click on the hidden file or folder in the list on the bottom of the window.
    2. Then double-click on the file or folder to open it.

Finder Cover Flow view selected

  • perfect. just the answer i was looking for; any idea when an update for this might be pushed out?
    – Ethan Lee
    Sep 8, 2012 at 22:09
  • No idea, it could take weeks or months or longer, Apple has not provided any feedback on the issue, as of yet, I will keep this posted.
    – MrDaniel
    Sep 9, 2012 at 0:41
  • I submitted this bug recently, and they responded that my report was a duplicate (as expected). My report was a "Duplicate of 12259956 (Open)". So this is still in there bug database as a valid bug. Maybe they will fix it eventually. Jul 1, 2015 at 3:41

Obvious, but ⌘-O works fast enough for me, rather than trying to modify Finder.

  • 1
    Yeah I am aware of this shortcut but what I am really concerned about is double-click. Thanks anyway
    – Ethan Lee
    Aug 30, 2012 at 18:35

You must log in to answer this question.

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