Show All Files For Mac

Let’s face it. Everyone has a secret, and so does your Mac. Thousands of them are in the form of hidden files and folders stored in the ~/Library folder in your User folder. These files hold information like app preferences, etc.

But how can we view hidden files on macOS X?

There’s hope, and in this article, we will talk about ways to see all hidden files on Mac and make the Library folder visible.

What are Hidden Files on Mac?

Hidden files on Mac are a throwback to macOS’ Unix roots. Generally, files starting with “.” are hidden. Due to this, Mac doesn’t allow placing a ‘.’ at the beginning of a file name.

These hidden files contain data like preferences, application support files, privileges folders, and more.

Why are the files hidden on Mac?

In the Finder on your Mac, choose Finder Preferences, then click Advanced. Select or deselect “Show all filename extensions.” If you select “Show all filename extensions,” all extensions are shown, even for files that have “Hide extension” selected. All My Files is one of the most useful features in the Finder for my virtual dollar. It shows all files on your Mac, defaulting from newest to oldest. The setting for it is slightly hidden. After all, these files are hidden for a reason! See hidden files on Mac via Finder. As mentioned above, it doesn’t take much to make the hidden files on your Mac visible. In fact, you can check out all of the hidden files on your Mac by following just three easy steps: In Finder, open up your Macintosh HD folder; Press Command+Shift+Dot.

Due to several reasons, files and folders on Mac are hidden. They are listed as below:

  • They contain crucial data important for working for macOS.
  • If they are visible, your Mac might look cluttered.
  • No reason for users to view them

How to View Hidden File on Mac?

Before you learn how to see hidden files on Mac, remember there are reasons for hiding files on Mac.

The information they contain is essential, and making any changes or deleting them can make Mac behave weirdly.

For example, if you want to view the ~/Library folder & delete application support files for uninstalled applications, consider using Disk Clean Pro. This nifty Mac optimizer and cleaner will remove all unwanted application support files. Just click via One Click Care.

To download Disk Clean Pro, click here.


This cleanup tool for Mac is available at Mac App Store and is thoroughly tested and trusted. Using it, you can clean junk files, system log files, cache files, partial download, organize files on Mac, and do a lot more.

To know more about this tool, read the complete review.

In addition to this, you can recover gigabytes of disk space and can get rid of not enough storage space.

However, if you are not satisfied with it and would like to view the hidden files Mac app. Here’s how you can see all files hidden on Mac.

Way 1: Mac Finder Showing Hidden Files

Follow the steps below to view hidden files in Finder on Mac:

  1. Open Finder window
  2. Now in the left bar, click the name of your Mac under ‘Devices.’
  3. Select and click the startup drive. By default, it reads as Macintosh HD.
  4. Next, press Command +Shift +.(period) key. You will now be able to see several files with “.”
  5. To hide them again, hold down Command + Shift +. (period).

Note: To unhide and see hidden files in the Documents or Applications folder, you can use the same key combination i.e., Command+Shift+.

However, if you know what file type you are looking for in the ~/Library folder, follow the steps below:

1. Open Finder, press the Alt key, and click Go.

2. Click Library to open, normally hidden, folder

You’ll now see the most cluttered Mac desktop. Most of the unhidden files are system files and autosaved Microsoft Word documents. This finder showing hidden files sometimes helps users find those files that they thought were lost forever.

Read Also: “Other” On Mac Storage And How To Remove It

Show All Files For Mac Shortcut

Way 2: Unhide Files On Mac With Terminal Commands

Like the command prompt in Windows, we have a Terminal, command-line interface in Mac. Using it and a set of commands, you can easily show hidden files on Mojave and hide files. Unlike Finder, where you need to follow a series of complex instructions, using the Terminal command is easy.

If you know about Terminal and are conformable using it, here is the list of commands to show hidden files Mac app:

  1. Launch Terminal
  2. Here, copy-paste the following command defaults write AppleShowAllFiles true [Press Return] killall Finder

Note: The parameter True shows hidden files, whereas when you change it to false, it will again hide the files.

The method you chose doesn’t matter because both will help view all hidden files. If you select a finder to show hidden files, you will have to follow complex steps. While using the Terminal command is simple, and it quickly helps with OS X show hidden files.

Moreover, using Terminal, you can show all hidden files or folders on your Mac. This is a great way to view password protected .rar on your desktop!

Read Also: Uninstaller for Mac to Remove Apps Completely

Way 3: View Hidden files using chflags hidden command on Mojave

However, if you want to see all hidden files on Mac follow the steps below:

Show All Files And Folders

1. Launch Terminal

2. Copy-paste the following command: chflags hidden

Note: Make sure there’s a space between the command and the parameter

3. Drag files or folders into the Terminal that you want to hide from Finder. You will now see the file and folder paths in Terminal.

4. To hide, press Return.

By using these simple sets of instructions, you can hide files. To view hidden files, change the parameter from nohidden. You will now see all the hidden files on Mac.

While using this method, always remember anyone who knows this trick can also use the same command to unhide files.

This is all using these simple methods; you can show hidden files on Mac. Furthermore, if your motive to see hidden files is to remove junk files, we have an easy way.

Cleaning Hidden Junk Files Automatically

Generally, Mac users look for ways to view hidden files because they want to recover some additional gigabytes. But if they can clean up these useless hidden files without much ado then?

You read it right using an excellent tool like Disk Clean Pro; you can quickly recover hard disk space and clean up your Mac.

To use this fantastic tool, follow the steps below:

1. Download & install Disk Clean Pro

2. Launch the app and click Start System Scan

3. Let the scan finish. You’ll now see all the junk files.

4. Hit Clean Now to get rid of this unwanted data.

Tada! This is it. Using these simple steps and Terminal commands, you can view hidden files on Mac. Moreover, you can show hidden files on Mac to your friend and be popular.

Read Also:Delete Downloaded Files And Folders

Frequently Asked Question

Q1. How Do I Manage Files On A Mac?

Files on Mac can be managed both manually and automatically. To manage files manually, select items by pressing and holding the Command key. Next, press the Control key > choose New Folder with Selection. That’s it. You can now place the files in the selected folder.

Alternatively, you can use Disk Clean Pro to organize and manage files. In addition to this, to arrange files on the desktop. Click desktop, choose view > Sort By, then choose from the list of options. You can now arrange the files.

Q2. How Do You Make Hidden Files Unhidden On A Mac?

The easiest way to unhide a file on Mac is to use the Terminal command. To do so, launch Terminal and run the following command: defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE killall Finder.

This way, you can see hidden files in Finder.

Additionally, you can also type chflags nohidden with a space between command and nohidden. You can now unhide a file or a folder.

Q3. Where Are Hidden Files On Mac?

In the Finder, open your Macintosh HD folder. Press Command+Shift+Dot. You will now be able to see hidden files.

What Do You Think?

The Finder is the first thing that you see when your Mac finishes starting up. It opens automatically and stays open as you use other apps. It includes the Finder menu bar at the top of the screen and the desktop below that. It uses windows and icons to show you the contents of your Mac, iCloud Drive, and other storage devices. It's called the Finder because it helps you to find and organize your files.

Open windows and files

To open a window and see the files on your Mac, switch to the Finder by clicking the Finder icon (pictured above) in the Dock. Switching to the Finder also reveals any Finder windows that might be hidden behind the windows of other apps. You can drag to resize windows and use the buttons to close , minimize , or maximize windows. Learn more about managing windows.

When you see a document, app, or other file that you want to open, just double-click it.

View All Files On Mac

Change how your files are displayed

To change how files are displayed in Finder windows, use the View menu in the menu bar, or the row of buttons at the top of the Finder window. You can view files as icons , in a list , in columns , or in a gallery . And for each view, the View menu provides options to change how items are sorted and arranged, such as by kind, date, or size. Learn more about customizing views.

When you view files in a gallery, you can browse your files visually using large previews, so it's easy to identify images, videos, and all kinds of documents. Gallery View in macOS Mojave even lets you play videos and scroll through multipage documents. Earlier versions of macOS have a similar but less powerful gallery view called Cover Flow .

Gallery View in macOS Mojave, showing the sidebar on the left and the Preview pane on the right.

Use the Preview pane

The Preview pane is available in all views by choosing View > Show Preview from the menu bar. Or press Shift-Command (⌘)-P to quickly show or hide the Preview pane.

macOS Mojave enhances the Preview pane in several ways:

  • More information, including detailed metadata, can be shown for each file. This is particularly useful when working with photos and media, because key EXIF data, like camera model and aperture value, are easy to locate. Choose View > Preview Options to control what information the Preview pane can show for the kind of file selected.
  • Quick Actions let you easily manage or edit the selected file.

Use Quick Actions in the Preview pane

With Quick Actions in macOS Mojave, you can take actions on a file without opening an app. Quick Actions appear at the bottom of the Preview pane and vary depending on the kind of file selected.

  • Rotate an image
  • Mark up an image or PDF
  • Combine images and PDFs into a single PDF file
  • Trim audio and video files

To manage Quick Actions, click More , then choose Customize. macOS Mojave includes a standard set of Quick Actions, but Quick Actions installed by third-party apps also appear here. You can even create your own Quick Actions using Automator.

Use Stacks on your desktop

macOS Mojave introduces Stacks, which lets you automatically organize your desktop into neat stacks of files, so it's easy to keep your desktop tidy and find exactly what you're looking for. Learn more about Stacks.

The sidebar in Finder windows contains shortcuts to AirDrop, commonly used folders, iCloud Drive, devices such your hard drives, and more. Like items in the Dock, items in the sidebar open with just one click.

To change the items in your sidebar, choose Finder > Preferences from the Finder menu bar, then click Sidebar at the top of the preferences window. You can also drag files into or out of the sidebar. Learn more about customizing the sidebar.

Search for files

To search with Spotlight, click the magnifying glass in the menu bar, or press Command–Space bar. Spotlight is similar to Quick Search on iPhone or iPad. Learn more about Spotlight.

Show All Files Mac Catalina

To search from a Finder window, use the search field in the corner of the window:

When you select a search result, its location appears at the bottom of the window. To get to this view from Spotlight, choose “Show all in Finder” from the bottom of the Spotlight search results.

In both Spotlight and Finder, you can use advanced searches to narrow your search results.

Delete files

Show All Files For Mac

To move a file to the Trash, drag the file to the Trash in the Dock. Or select one or more files and choose File > Move To Trash (Command-Delete).

To remove a file from the Trash, click the Trash to open it, then drag the file out of the Trash. Or select the file and choose File > Put Back.

To delete the files in the Trash, choose File > Empty Trash. The storage space used by those files then becomes available for other files. In macOS Sierra, you can set up your Mac to empty the trash automatically.