Find Hidden Files On MacSource: iMore

There are hidden files inside your Mac on macOS Monterey and previous versions. These files are all beneficial, which is the main reason Apple hides them. And yet, it's possible to find these hidden files on the best Macs in just a few steps.

Why are they hidden?

Before getting started with finding these files, it's important to understand why they're hidden in the first place. In some cases, the removal of these files can cause serious problems with your computer. The hidden objects can take various forms, including libraries and files, backend directories, and many more.

Because deleting hidden files on a Mac could lead to significant problems, it's best not to find them unless you're a techie or Apple support requested that you do.

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There are two primary ways to find hidden files on Mac: through Finder and by using Terminal.

Finding hidden files with Finder

In just a few steps, you can find hidden files on Mac using the Finder tool.

  1. Click on the Finder icon on the Dock.
  2. Choose the Macintosh HD folder under Locations on the left side of the Finder window.
  3. Press Command + Shift + **. keys at the same time.

You're now able to see the hidden files on your Mac.

To show hidden files with Finder, click on the Finder icon on the Dock, then choose the Macintosh HD folder on the left hand side, then press the Command + Shift + . keys at the same time. Source: iMore

To stop seeing hidden files, press Command + Shift + **. keys at the same time once again.

Looking in the LIbrary folder

Many of the most important hidden files are located in a hidden Library folder. This folder can also be found using Finder.

  1. Click on the Finder icon on the Dock.
  2. Choose Go on the menu bar.
  3. Select the Option key.

You'll now see the hidden '~/Library' listed as 'Library' on the' Go' menu.

To find the hidden Library folder on Mac, click on the Finder icon on the Dock. Choose Go on the menu bar. Select the option key. Source: iMore

To stop seeing hidden files, unclick the Option key.

Finding hidden files with Terminal

For another option for finding hidden files on Mac, use Terminal. This solution is ideal for programmers and developers who want to get text-based access to hidden files.

  1. Click on the Finder icon on the Dock.
  2. Choose Go on the menu bar.
  3. Select Utilities.
  4. Open Terminal inside the Utilities folder.

    To find hidden files with Terminal, click on the Finder icon on the Dock. Choose Go on the menu bar. Select Utilities. Choose Terminal inside the Utilities folder. Source: iMore

  5. Type the following command into Terminal and then hit the Enter key: defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles true.
  6. Next type the following command into Terminal and then hit the Enter key: killall Finder.

    To find hidden files with Terminal, Type the following command into **Terminal** and then hit the Enter key: `defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles true`, then type the following command into **Terminal** and then hit the Enter key: `killall Finder`Source: iMore

You can now see hidden files on Mac through macOS.

To stop viewing hidden files:

  1. Click on the Finder icon on the Dock.
  2. Choose Go on the menu bar.
  3. Select Utilities.
  4. Open Terminal inside the Utilities folder.

    To find hidden files with Terminal, click on the Finder icon on the Dock. Choose Go on the menu bar. Select Utilities. Choose Terminal inside the Utilities folder. Source: iMore

  5. Type the following command into Terminal and then hit the Enter key: defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles false.
  6. Next type the following command into Terminal and then hit the Enter key: killall Finder.

    To find hidden files with Terminal, Type the following command into **Terminal** and then hit the Enter key: `defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles false`, then type the following command into **Terminal** and then hit the Enter key: `killall Finder`Source: iMore

Your files are once again hidden.

Questions?

If you have questions about finding hidden files on Mac or the rest of macOS, let us know in the comments below.