I recently had tried to make some hidden desktop icons on my desktop following the instructions found here. I am on Mac OS X Mountain Lion. I ended up somehow making every file a hidden file. The files are all visible but are just transparent and I cannot open some of them.

How do I make all of these files become unhidden files so they are no longer transparent and I can access them better?

  • 2
    What exactly did you do to hide them? – nohillside Aug 19 '13 at 19:09
  • I followed this tutorial. I am not sure what went wrong. osxdaily.com/2009/09/23/hide-all-desktop-icons-in-mac-os-x – MAS02 Aug 19 '13 at 19:50
  • 1
    Have you tried undoing what you did? If you ran that first command in the link, have you tried running TRUE instead of FALSE like in the link? – sameetandpotatoes Aug 19 '13 at 20:34
  • +1 to the above comment. "defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop -bool true" will remediate your issue. – Dave Aug 19 '13 at 20:35
  • Yes I have tried that, but for some reason all of the icons are still transparent and being shown as hidden files. – MAS02 Aug 19 '13 at 21:42

You might have accidentally show the hidden files in Finder. Try this command to hide all the hidden files:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool NO

To show it again, change the BOOL value from NO to YES:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool YES

To unhide all icons on the desktop, simply open the terminal then run:

defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop true

Then restart Finder with the following command (also in the terminal):

killall Finder

The reverse is true if you'd like to reverse this and hide icons on your desktop:

defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop true
killall Finder

Here's a video showing the effect this will have.

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