How to See Hidden Files on Mac
Image source: Sarah Pflug
How To

How to See Hidden Files on Mac

Macs have been around for what seems like forever. And Apple continues to push new products every year or so. Of course, it is not something that everybody has in their home. There are plenty of individuals who prefer other brands. Nevertheless, the number of Mac users is still quite big. For some reason, though, the majority still has plenty of things to learn and do not grasp everything that is in front of them.

Lack of knowledge leads to a lot of problems. For instance, if you lack experience with computers and see that there is not enough storage space on your computer, you might decide to delete it. As silly as it sounds, this was one of the reasons why Apple has decided to hide a big number of system files from open sight, so to speak.

But as one can expect, a time comes when you need to access those files. And doing it for the first time is impossible without the right guidelines. Therefore, if you happen to be in that particular boat, you should find the information below very useful. There are three methods to see these files. All three are explained in detail below.

Use Finder

Image source: Sajjad Hussain M

As you can probably expect, it does not take that much to get those files to show themselves. One of the best ways to do that is by using the Finder. Locate your Mac’s HD folder, press Command+Shift+Dot, and they should be there. If you want to hide them again, use the same three-key combination. Of course, you do not have to limit yourself to just the HD folder. You can use the same method for other folders too.

It would be worth pointing out that your Desktop will become one big mess after you reveal the files. So just in case, be prepared.

Terminal Commands

Those who have experience using a Macintosh might be familiar with terminal commands. The complexity of those makes it difficult to explain everything in detail. The general idea is that you use various scripts to make things happen. The end result is the same as using the Finder. However, if you want to takes a bit more complex approach and learn some new things along the way as well, then it might be a great idea to go with this option. Setapp has prepared a great guide on how to show hidden files on Mac using terminal commands.

Use File Manager

Image source: Matthew Henry

There are a couple of application which work great if you want to simplify the process. These would include DCommander and Forklift. For instance, if you use Forklift, all it takes is starting the app, clicking on “View” and click on the “Show hidden files” box. DComannder also has a toolbar available similar to Forklift, and it will not take more than a couple of clicks to access what you want. It would be wise to try both of these options and see which one you prefer personally. Do be careful about messing with the files, as it is quite easy to delete something that was not meant to be deleted.

Automatic Cleanup

Image source: Matthew Henry

While these three ways to show hidden files are effective, and there are a couple more, one question still remains. Why one would even bother with this? Is it curiosity? Or maybe it is trying to find a solution to software that is not performing as it should? In all honesty, it is more than likely that the main goal is to get those few gigabytes of space.

All in all, if you are looking to find out more about your Macintosh and make adjustments in various ways, these tips should be of great use. However, if you do end up tinkering with your computer, make sure to not delete something that can lead to bigger problems.

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