by Anthony 

July 23, 2023

How to Show Hidden Files on Mac

To view hidden files and folders on Mac you simply need to press the CMD, Shift and the Period keys simultaneously on your keyboard. This will toggle the “show hidden files option on and off”, so pressing the key combination a second time will once again hide the files from view. Restarting your Mac overrides the setting, so the next time you log back in, the files will once again be hidden.

You’re unlikely to find any hidden files or folders, except in the root directory of your Mac or your home directory, and these files and folders are hidden for good reason. They are generally system files so changing or deleting them could break an application or even macOS.

If you’re looking for hidden files in the hope of deleting them to recover some storage space, I do not recommend it. Instead, there is a free app called Onyx that will clean up all the unnecessary temp files on your system without breaking anything.

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How to Hide Your Own Files 

I’ve seen some websites claim that you can hide your own files by selecting them and pressing the same key combination, CMD+Shift+Period. However, this did not work for me.

If you want to hide one of your own files you can simply move it to one of the already hidden folders, such as the Library folder in your Profile. Moving it to a hidden folder means it won’t even show up in your Recent files.

My preference is to steer clear of all these system files and folders and instead use the same app I recommended for cleaning up temporary files, Onyx.

Onyx lets you hide absolutely anything, whether that be drives, applications, files or folders. Having hidden your files with Onyx you can use the same key combination CMD, Shift and Period, or use Onyx to see them.

If you have several files, instead of hiding each one individually, I recommend sticking them all in a folder and using Onyx to hide the folder. It works in exactly the same way as files. Simply press CMD, Shift and the Period to view your folder, or unhide it using Onyx.

Key Takeaways

  • You can display hidden files by pressing CMD, Shift and Period on the keyboard.
  • Important system files are usually hidden for a reason.
  • You can hide your own files using a free app called Onyx.

If you found this post useful, don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel for lots of tips and tricks on all your favourite apps.


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