If you are new to the Apple macOS operating system or thinking about how you can show hidden files and folders on your Mac. This brief guide will take you through the shortcuts you can use to quickly reveal them. By default, Apple has set your Mac computer to hide a variety of operating system files from view to protect them from being deleted.
Unfortunately, this can be annoying, especially when you’re trying to carry out specific actions or tasks that need access to files within the Library folder or specific system folders. Thankfully Apple has delivered a couple of ways to easily show hidden files and the hidden Library folder on your iMac, MacBook, or Apple computers. You can do this either graphically using the Finder file manager or using the command-line terminal application.
MacOS shortcut to reveal hidden files
Open the Finder application and select the ‘Macintosh HD’ drive on the left-hand side under the ‘Locations’ section and use the shortcut “Command + Shift + . “to show all the hidden Mac system files greyed out but listed in Finder. Repeating the shortcut will then reverse the process hide the files once again from view.
Sometimes it’s necessary to view the hidden ~/Library folder on Mac computers and this is just a simple to reveal using Finder once again if you haven’t already used the show hidden file shortcut above. If you have, then the Library folder will already show in the Finder Go menu as in the image above.
To show the Library folder without using the above shortcut, open a new Finder window and then select ‘Go’ to reveal the drop-down from the top text menu. Once it shows press the “Option” key on your Mac keyboard, between ‘Control’ and ‘Command’ and the Library folder will be revealed in your list of locations, its position is roughly in the middle of the list just under ‘Home’ as in the image above.
If you would like to permanently show the Mac ~/Library once revealed, you can drag it to the left-hand-side shortcut section of Finder where it will remain for easy access even after closing down your Mac.
Using the terminal to reveal macOS hidden files
If you like using the command line you can carry out the same action using the Mac Terminal app by entering the following code one at a time:
defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles true killall Finder
To reverse the process and hide all your files once again on Mac enter the lines of code below one at a time :
defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles false killall Finder
These shortcuts and terminal commands supply easy ways for you to reveal hidden files on your Mac permanently or temporarily. Enabling you to carry out certain maintenance on your own computer or others, returning them to a hidden state after the fulfillment to avoid unexpected deletion.