Apple hides certain files and folders; this is normally a good thing because tampering with hidden system files could crash your Mac if you don’t know what you’re doing. However certain circumstances require access to the hidden files & folders, luckily there are a few easy ways to show all the hidden items.

Below are 3 ways to show the hidden files & folders. The Automator script is a simple script I made myself that will quickly and easily show or hide the hidden items; all you have to do is download and run it. If you feel more comfortable using an application built specifically to show and hide the hidden files and folders, then you can use the free Revealer App. The terminal method is pretty much the exact same thing as the Automator Script and Revealer app, the only difference being that you manually enter the code instead of automatically having it done by the script or app.


Automator Script

automator script hide files folders mac

Automator – Click Run

To use the Automator script, simply download and open it. Automator, an application that comes pre-installed on Macs will open. Click the “Run” button located on the upper right of the application window. A message will pop-up asking if you’d like to show the hidden files & folders. Click “OK”. This will cause Finder to close and then relaunch.

To reverse the effect, hiding the files & folders, simply run the Automator script again. Each time you show or hide the hidden items Finder will have to relaunch.

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Revealer App

show hidden files mac folders, revealer app

Revealer App

Revealer is a free, nifty little app that has one simple purpose; to show and hide the hidden files and folders as well as the hidden ~/Library folder. The app is extremely light, weighing in at under 1MB. This is a good thing, because it makes it very, very fast.

At the top of the app there are two tabs, “Show Hidden Files” and “Show ~/Library”. It can’t get any easier than that.

This app comes in especially handy if you are an app developer, web developer or someone who needs to show and hide the hidden files on a daily basis. The Revealer app can be stored in the Dock for quick access. The App itself is nonintrusive, loads up practically instantly, and has 1 button under each tab; an on and off switch. Simple and straight forward.

Want to use the Revealer app? Get it here :

Each time you show or hide the hidden items Finder will have to relaunch.



hide show hidden files folder mac terminal


*UPDATE* – 10/31/2013 – The following codes have have been updated to successfully show hidden files & folders on OS X Mavericks.

Terminal is an App you can find in your Applications/ folder or by searching for it in Spotlight. Simply copy and paste the codes below into Terminal and press the Enter key. (Watch the upper case and lower case letters)

Enter this code to show the hidden files & folders:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES

Finder has to be restarted. To do this enter:

killall Finder


Enter this code to hide the hidden files & folders:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles NO

Finder has to be restarted. To do this enter:

killall Finder


The above codes work perfectly fine for me on every test I’ve run however it has been reported that the last part of the code, “YES” and “NO” does not work for some people.  If showing or hiding the hidden files with “YES” or “NO” does not work for you then replace it with “TRUE” or “FALSE”.


Permanently show the Hidden Library Folder

When Apple released OS X Lion they decided they wanted to hide the Library folder. If you want to get it back permanently, it’s incredibly easy to do. Open Terminal and enter:

chflags nohidden ~/Library/

Press Enter. Now your Library folder will be shown in your Home folder.

To go back to the default setting of having the Library folder hidden enter this into Terminal:

chflags hidden ~/Library/


Quick temporary access to the Hidden Library Folder

mac show library keyboard shortcut show hidden files mac

Option Key

If you’re simply looking for a quick way to get into the hidden Library folder located in your Home folder, simply hold down the “Options” key on your keyboard while selecting “Go” in Finders Menu Bar options. Normally Library is hidden in the menu, letting go of the “Options” key will immediately hide the folder again.

This will not show all the hidden files & folders like the above methods, it will simply grant you access to the hidden Library folder.