Is it possible to set by default to show hidden files and folders in Open and Save dialogs ?

I know it is possible to trigger to show hidden for dialog lifetime by press Command ⌘+Shift ⇧+..

3 Answers 3


I just asked this question again, since there were no real answers here, and according to this answer all you need to do is run

defaults write -g AppleShowAllFiles -bool true

and restart whichever application(s) you're using, and you're all set. No restarting Finder or your computer. Brilliant!

  • This is not work.
    – diimdeep
    Aug 18, 2013 at 14:23
  • 1
    It works on Mountain Lion 10.8.4, I don't know about other versions. You may also need to use sudo at the beginning of the command
    – MattDMo
    Aug 18, 2013 at 23:35
  • Tried again, it works but not everywhere, it is depends on application.. in TextEdit for example not.
    – diimdeep
    Aug 19, 2013 at 7:15

Not without using the chflags nohidden command, which is not recommended. One of the third-party file manager utilities such as PathFinder may have such an option.

  • chflags nohidden work only for Finder, not Open/Save dialogs. Also I don't see how PathFinder can help.
    – diimdeep
    Sep 26, 2012 at 18:40
  • chflags nohidden should affect file dialogs as well, but it can't be used to show files that start with a period.
    – Lri
    Sep 27, 2012 at 10:48

In the terminal enter

defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles 1
  • 2
    This will work only when you browsing through Finder itself, my question is when you browsing through Save or Open dialogs in any other application.
    – diimdeep
    Sep 27, 2012 at 6:42
  • @dimdeep MattDMo's answer worked for me
    – Sean A
    Aug 3, 2014 at 21:52

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