Have you ever wondered if you can access hidden files on your Mac? If you have, well, you are not alone out there. Apple has its reasons for hiding away specific files from Mac users. But there are times when you need to see those files to fix your Mac that malfunctions or you may need to remove some of these files to free up some space on your machine.
Hidden files are scattered throughout your Mac, which is confusing for those who want to access them all. In the section below, we will show how to find hidden files on a Mac. Note that deleting hidden files may cause issues on your Mac system, so ensure you know what you are doing.
How to Access Hidden Files in Finder
One of the easiest ways to access hidden files on a Mac is through Finder. You can follow our steps below.
Step 1: Open the Finder app on your Mac (you can open it by clicking on the half-tone face icon from the toolbar at the bottom).
- If your Mac’s name does not show up on the list, hit Finder in the top bar and select Preferences from the drop-down menu. Select the Sidebar tab and tick the box next to your computer’s name.
Step 2: Now, click Macintosh HD from the list and then press the following keyboard shortcut: Command + Shift + period key, and you should see hidden files on your Mac.
Step 3: To hide the files, repeat the above keyboard shortcut.
How to Access Hidden Files in Terminal
Terminal has been part of Mac machines for years, serving as a command-line system that allows you to take control over some functions of your Mac. It also acts as the perfect solution to specific software-related problems. You can reveal hidden files in macOS Terminal using our simple steps below.
Step 1: Open the Terminal on your Mac from the Dock. If you have not added it to the Dock, launch it using Spotlight Search.
Step 2: In the Terminal, enter defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles true and hit Return.
Step 3: Now, input killall Finder, then hit the Return key again. Doing so will reveal all the hidden files in Terminal. Change true to false in the above command to hide the files again.
How to Access Hidden Files in Library Folders
Many hidden files are located in Library folders, and there are three of them on your Mac. Each of which is accessed in different ways. We will show you how.
How to find ~/Library on a Mac
The first library folder is hidden in plain sight and is referred to as ~/Library. There are several ways to find it on a Mac. You can find it by opening the Finder and pressing Command + Shift + H.
Alternatively, you can use the Go option in the Finder’s menu to access it. To do so, open the Finder > Go > Go to Folder. Type ~/Library in the text box and hit Go. Once you are in the hidden Library folder, press Command + Shift + period key shortcut to view the hidden files.
How to find Library on a Mac
The second Library folder can be found inside the Macintosh HD folder. The process is simple; open the Finder > click on Finder > Preferences > Sidebar tab.
From here, check the box next to your computer’s name. Under the Locations section of the Finder, you should see your disk that includes Library, Applications, System and Users. To reveal the hidden files, press Command + Shift + period key.
How to Find System Library (the third Library folder)
The third Library folder is located in System. To find it, repeat the steps to find Library in the Macintosh HD folder. From here, double-click System. You will see the system library folder inside.
How to Keep the ~/Library folder visible on Your Mac
You can tweak some settings to make the hidden ~/Library folder visible the next time you access it. To do so, simply press the keyboard shortcut: Command + Shift + period key. Alternatively, drag the hidden Library icon from the Finder window to the Finder sidebar to make it visible even if you shut the Finder window.