Toggle hidden files Finder OS X 10.10 Yosemite

You may also like...

42 Responses

  1. Alex Koon says:

    Thanks , worked perfect

  2. I needed to find a way to see invisible files like .htaccess and was going nuts until a Google search pointed me to your wonderfully helpful instructions about using Automator. Many, many thanks for sharing this information!

  3. Seva says:

    Awesome. Love the reversibility and the ability to select where to apply the feature. Many thanks!

  4. Thank you Bert, the instructions were clear and it works great. This is going to save me a lot of time.

  5. Josh says:

    I tried doing this but it does not work. I was able to determine the error as “The domain/default pair of (, AppleShowAllFiles) does not exist”

    How can I resolve this?

    • Josh says:


      I have tried multiple times to run “defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE” and then running “defaults read AppleShowAllFiles” just to see if it can be found. That’s when I get the error about the domain/default pair not existing

      • Bert van Langen says:

        Hi Josh,

        Are you sure your on Yosemite? There have been some issues on setting the AppleShowAllFiles. In older versions setting this to TRUE or FALSE didn’t work, but setting to 0 or 1, or ON or OFF did. Besides that it’s also possible that your facing a permissions issue. You can verify your permissions with Disk Utility: Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility. Then choose ‘Verify Disk Permissions’ or ‘Repair Disk Permissions’.

        Another thing I need to mention is: you need to restart Finder (by killall Finder) to get the result.

        Hope your having luck with the pointers I gave you.
        Kind regards,


  6. Jason Sooter says:

    Awesome Post! Thanks for the nice hack 😉

  7. michael says:

    loved it!…it does what it says!…genius

  8. Pablo Aranegui says:

    Thank!!!! it work as charm.

  9. Mitch says:

    i managed to turn the hidden files on by running terminal command but when i run it again using “false” hidden files are still shown. I am running Yosemite so not sure why the hidden files would turn on but not off

  10. tralejbus says:

    There are other ways of achieving this. If you need to work with hidden files, there is Terminal. What I do to access hidden files thru Finder sometimes, is $ open /usr/bin for example. When this hack would really be needed is in chooser dialogs. Unfortunately the chooser dialog disregards the hack, although it’s the same Finder still. In that case there is Go menu (Shift-Command-G), which allows you just to enter a path. And it will show the hidden files for you. Plus this solution doesn’t work as slick as just hide and show the files, it restarts the whole Finder process and it looks unpleasant.

  11. Luke Chrisinger says:

    Incredibly helpful, thanks!

  12. Classic Henry says:

    The only way I can get this script to work through Automator is to run it from within Automator. Following this tutorial does not create a new context menu.

    • Earl Williams says:

      The new item is not at the top level of the context menu; it’s inside the Services subfolder at the bottom of the context menu. Take a look, worked great for me in OS X 10.10.4 (Yosemite), though since it’s a toggle, use it twice if the first time doesn’t seem to work. And thanks Bert!!!

  13. Marcio says:

    Thanks ! 😀

  14. Alexandros says:

    Thank you! I’ve been looking for something like this for ages!

  15. Larry says:

    great post, in your final ‘list’ that you made for outlining how to create within the Automator program, #2 and #3 are redundant or the same step…cheers

  16. Estudio says:

    Excelente. Gran ayuda

  17. SuperFresh says:

    Here’s a direct download link to a simple app I made that accomplishes the same thing. Thank you for the support. Check out it, works great!

  18. Aulay says:

    Fab! Thanks for this, much neater than hopping in and out of Terminal.
    I’ve added a final line “open Documents’ so the Finder is automatically restarted (not that it’s necessarily likely to be the Documents folder I need).

  19. Stefan says:

    Many thanks for these instructions. I have automated this, and use it every single day!

  20. Ben says:

    Brilliant, thanks

  21. Todd says:

    Awesome tutorial!

    Works like a charm 🙂

  22. Bluey says:

    Million thanks. Need this for viewing hidden files in my pendrive inflicted by the .lnk virus from PC

  23. Avinash Gardas says:

    Thanks a lot bro 🙂

  24. David says:

    thats a very cool one. thank you, man!

  25. Martin says:

    This is very cool. I knew how to change the defaults in the terminal, but having it in the right-click menu in the finder via Automator is a great convenience step. Sure, it’s a bit of a problem that you have to relaunch the finder.

    It’s really a pity that users have to re-invent the wheel because of questionable design decisions by Apple. Showing hidden files is really something I’d expect the Graphical Desktop to offer out of the box.

  26. PatrickN says:

    Thank you. Works great. And this should have been an Admin option.

  27. Julianich says:

    KrojamSoft FilesSearch tool can work for you. Try it

  28. Ather says:

    Need Help: I accidentally hid an excel file but by clicking on Window -> Hide in Excel when trying to hide some columns. I tried the above command to unhide a file but I still cannot find it. Is there a default folder files get hidden to? When I went into Finder -> All My Files, I see the file name but is says reopening the file will cause me to lose my changes. I don’t know where this Hidden open file is. Beginner using Mac Yosemite.

  29. Sue says:

    Thank you so much. What a help and it was easy to follow your instructions. Much appreciated!

  30. leftblank15 says:

    Does this work for El Capitan 10.11.4 ?

    • Bert van Langen says:

      It sure does! Still working for me on El Capitan 10.11.4 The script, when created can be found at /Users/<user_name>/Library/Services/

  31. Jukka Peltola says:

    Thanks a million for this!

  32. Ate says:

    This is very good, thanks. Works perfectly on el capitan 11.04

  33. Jordan says:

    This worked the first time I tested it, right after creating it, with Automator still open. However every time that I have tried it since then, I get the following error message:

    The action “Run Shell Script” encountered an error.

  34. AppleSucks says:

    Fucking ridiculous that this is necessary. This is a 3-click process in Windows.

  35. Christian Thies says:

    Love it 🙂 Thanks a ton

    LFMF: Dont skip “At the top of the workflow pane are two drop-down menu items. Set the Service receives selected to ‘files or folders’. Set the in to ‘Finder’.” Otherwise you will search like me (an idiot) where the hell is that darn item… :-[

  36. r0se says:

    thank you for this !! been trying to do this for a couple days

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *