How to Show hidden files Mac OS X 10.7 Lion? [Tutorial]

In short tutorial I will explain how to hide files and how to show hidden files in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

Mac OS X Lion

I recently switched to Mac from Windows and it looks like it will take years to master it like Windows.  While it is simpler than Windows it is different so you can’t just switch to Mac and start using it like a pro. Of course both systems have plenty in common but some tasks are completely different, like screen capture on Mac.

This time I want to teach you how to show hidden files in Mac. This isn’t something you use each and every day and some users won’t even bother about this. I had to come up with solution for this when I downloaded .htaccess from one of my servers so I can edit it but after download I couldn’t find this file. Turns out that Mac hides all files that has single period “.” character at the beginning of a filename.

I did some research and found that there are tools which allow to search and use hidden files but I wanted to find solution that can be used with additional app. Found a simple command that you can use to show hidden files and folders in Finder:

Step 1: Open Finder

Step 2: Open the Utilities folder

Step 3: Try to find utility called Terminal and open it

Terminal on Mac

Step 4: Now copy and paste fallowing line of code (you can type it manually as well 🙂 ):

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES

Terminal command

Step 5: Press return button on the keyboard

Step 6: Now hold “alt” button on the keyboard and right clock on the Finder icon

Relaunch finder

Step 7: Click on Relaunch

Now you should be able to find see all hidden files or folders. There might be many files that you didn’t know that existed but don’t try to erase them without checking what they are there for.

When you’re done working with hidden files and folders on Mac you can now hide those files again. Follow the same instruction mentioned above but on step 4 use a following command:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles NO

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One Response to How to Show hidden files Mac OS X 10.7 Lion? [Tutorial]

  1. Drexodragon June 11, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

    Thank you so much, this really helped me out 🙂

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