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How to show hidden files and folders in Finder?

Posted on 2012-04-09
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Last Modified: 2012-04-10
I need to back up my repository so I need to find the file, right? I use SurceTree and presume the repository is hidden. I created it in a given folder, and did not see the file even though it functioned fine.

So I presume it's hiding it so I do not delete it by mistake.

Thanks.
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Question by:newbieweb
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8 Comments
 
LVL 24

Assisted Solution

by:Alan Henderson
Alan Henderson earned 125 total points
ID: 37826033
This page shows you how:
http://www.macosxtips.co.uk/index_files/quickly-show-hidden-files.php

It also shows you how to set up a keyboard shortcut.
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:Anuroopsundd
Anuroopsundd earned 125 total points
ID: 37826122
Open terminal  and put below command
defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YES

To make the command take effect, you need to restart the Finder. One way to do this is to hold down the Option key, then click and hold on the Finder icon in the Dock. When the contextual menu appears, select Relaunch and the Finder will restart.

When it does, you’ll find that you can now see every single file and folder on your Mac


http://www.macworld.com/article/1051830/showallfinder.html
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LVL 40

Assisted Solution

by:Eoin OSullivan
Eoin OSullivan earned 250 total points
ID: 37826568
If you simply want to check if there are hidden files or folders .. simply open Terminal App ... switch to the folder concerned .. by entering 'cd '  and the folder path .. or you can type 'cd ' and then drop the folder into the terminal window.
cd /path/to/the/folder

Open in new window


Once you are in the folder ... type
ls -al

Open in new window


This will show all files and folders including hidden files and folders beginning with .
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Author Comment

by:newbieweb
ID: 37827662
If I were to make it the default to always show hidden files, would I be able to differentiate them from normal files?  I am not sure I would make it the default unless I could also see it was hidden by default.
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LVL 40

Accepted Solution

by:
Eoin OSullivan earned 250 total points
ID: 37827710
I find that showing all hidden files by default is VERY annoying as these files are throughout OSX and clutter up your finder and folder views.

You are best to toggle it on an off using the Terminal command (which involves restarting the Finder) or use the Terminal to list the contents of a folder as I describe .. or use a 3rd party Finder alternative such as Path Finder or TotalFinder which allow you to see hidden files without running terminal commands or restarting the Finder.

I must say that PathFinder (http://cocoatech.com/) is a great utility and especially for former- Windows users as it has several powerful features including showing hidden files, sorting folders in certain ways and a lot more that is missing from the Finder
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Author Closing Comment

by:newbieweb
ID: 37828720
Thanks!
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Author Comment

by:newbieweb
ID: 37828833
How do I hide the hidden files again?

I wanted to ask before using:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Eoin OSullivan
ID: 37828846
correct .. change TRUE to FALSE ... restart Finder afterwards
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