How to show hidden files on OS X Mavericks 10.9

OS X Disk RootIn my opinion, the Mac OS is astonishingly simple and easy to use and for most people the default file system setting is just fine, however there are files and folders that are hidden from view – and just as well for some users!

Personally, I like to see all the files and folders, including the hidden ones.  There are tools and apps that do this, but by far the simplest way is by typing in a command.

Here are the steps:

  1. Go to the ‘Terminal’ app. The quickest way is to click on the spotlight magnifying glass in the top right of the menu bar and type Terminal and then hit return/enter. Double click on the icon to open.
  2. Copy and past the following command as all one line:
    defaults write AppleShowAllFiles 1 && killall Finder

    and hit return.

The Finder will restart immediately, and all the hidden files and folders will be visible.

To turn off hidden files, the command replaces 1 with 0:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles 0 && killall Finder

WARNING! Be careful, and don’t delete or alter anything that you don’t fully understand as you may cause issues with the way the operating system works. However, delving in, looking around, and so on will help you find out how the Mac OS works. If you are used to any flavour of Linux or Unix, you will immediately recognise the way the file system is laid out.