Show or Hide Hidden Files on OS X

Unlike Windows, Mac OS X does not provide a radio button or switch to show hidden files, instead the functionality is hidden within a terminal command. Here’s how:

  1. Open the “Terminal” application
    • Located at /Applications/Utilities
  2. Type or copy and paste the following command and hit the “return” key:
    • defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
  3. Then, type or copy and paste this command and hit the “return” key:
    • killall Finder
  4. This will force Finder to re-start with the new setting to show hidden files. At this point you’ll notice lots of .DS_Store files on your system. Don’t worry, they were always there, they were just hidden, until now.

In order to revert these changes and re-hide hidden files, follow these steps again except on step two, change TRUE to FALSE.

Alternatively, I’ve created two executable bash scripts named ShowHidden.command and HideHidden.command which when double-clicked, will either show or hide hidden files. Click this download link to get a .zip containing both files.