How do I view hidden files in macOS?

Updated: 05/22/2018 by Computer Hope
The Finder icon in macOS.

To view hidden files in the macOS operating system, try the options below.

Using shortcut in Finder

The following steps and shortcut only works on macOS Sierra and later versions.

  1. Open the Finder application.
  2. Press the Command key (⌘) + Shift + period (.).

You should now be able to see hidden files in Finder after pressing the shortcut key combination above. To stop viewing hidden files, press the shortcut key combination again.

Modify Finder to always show hidden files

The following steps for viewing hidden files should work on all versions of macOS.

  1. Open the Finder application.
  2. In the left navigation pane, click on Applications, then Utilities. Open the Terminal utility.
  3. In the Terminal, paste the following text.
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES
  1. Press the Return key.
  2. Press and hold the Option/alt key, then right-click the Finder application icon and select Relaunch.

You should now be able to see hidden files in Finder. To stop viewing hidden files, follow the steps above again, but in step 3, paste the following text in the Terminal.

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles NO