[Recommended] How to Recover and Show Hidden Files on Mac

Sometimes, you may have to recover or show hidden files on Mac. For instance, if your Mac computer slows down or refuses to run a program, all you have to do is troubleshooting your system and then showing hidden files like ~/.trashes and the DS_store file. While the DS_store file on Mac will keep track of your folder view option, icon positions, and general computer interface,  the ~/.trashes file helps you to retrieve files sent to the trash bin but not deleted from the Mac system.

However, Mac system can also decide to hide some non-system files just to help secure such files, but this makes it hard for the user to locate their files. This blog will discuss easy and effective ways to recover and show hidden files on Mac in no time.

1Simplest Method to Show and Recover Deleted and Hidden Files on Mac

AnyRecover for Mac is a professional data recovery application used to recover almost all forms of files in data loss situations such as a system crash, accidental file deletion, unexpected power-off, etc. The software can not only retrieve files from any hardware mountable devices such as SD card, hard disk, virtual disk and camera, but also detect virus attacks on your Mac system, clean out the virus, and recover all affected files. You can store the recovered data in an external storage device to ensure the seciruty while you fix your Mac computer.


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AnyRecover for Mac Hidden File Recovery

  • Show and recover hidden files on Mac in simple steps, requiring no technical knowledge.

  • Restore data on Mac stored in both internal storage and external mountable devices.

  • Support 1,000+ types of  Mac files in diverse formats such as documents with file format of doc/docx, xls/xlsx, ppt/pptx, pdf, html, EPS, etc.

  • Perform a 100% scanning for full data recovery for free with the trial version

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Steps to Recover Hidden Files on Mac with AnyRecover

Take the following simple and quick steps to show and recover hidden files on your Mac computer.

Step 1. Download AnyRecover for Mac and follow the instructions to install it on your Mac computer. After installation, launch the software and select "All-Round Recovery" mode.

Select recovery mode of Anyrecover

Step 2. Select a location where the hidden files may be stored. If you don't know the possible location, just select all. Click "Next" to continue.

Select the location of your lost file

Step 4. Select the file type of the hidden files and click "Scan" to start scanning files of selected formats in the prescribed location selected in the previous step.

Select the file type of the hidden or lost file

Step 5. In the scanning results, you can check some deleted or hidden files in Files View or Tree View. If the hidden files you are looking for do not appear in the results, you can use the "Deep Scan" mode to search your Mac system thoroughly.

Preview the scanning results and choose the file you want to recover

Step 6. After the "Deep Scan" process is completed, check the hidden files you are looking for in the results. Click on the "Recover" tab to recover the hidden files and make them visible on your Mac computer.

Lost oe hidden file recovered successfully

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2Show Hidden Files on Mac with Keyboard Shortcut in Finder

What to show hidden files on Mac just with a few clicks? Then use Finder by pressing a few keys on your keyboard. Finder is an augmentation app that makes it easy for you to locate and re-arrange your documents, folders, and files on Mac system. Its icon pops up after installing a MacOS on your computer and opens automatically. You can view the content of your Mac system using the Finder menu bar.

To show hidden files on Mac with keyboard shortcut in Finder, follow these simple steps.

Step 1. Click on the Finder icon to open Finder.

Step 2. Navigate to the Macintosh HD folder.

Step 3. Press "Command + Shift + Period" then all the hidden files becomes visible.

Step 4. Open any of the hidden files you are looking for.

Step 5. You'll see your hidden files and folders in their locations on your computer. Comparing to unhidden files, the icons of the visible hidden files will be dimmed.

Show hidden files on Mac with shortcut in Finder


As a new user on Mac system or if you don't really know what you are looking for, you might unhide all the hidden files. That means you will have a cluttered desktop full of severally un-distinctive files.

You might also accidentally make changes to a hidden file, which may result in system damage.

3Show Hidden Files on Mac with Terminal

The Terminal is an entry point to access your command line in Mac system instead of working on the general user interface. Usually, the regular user interface might not be able to do the technical chores. You can open the Terminal in your application or utility folders when there is a need for troubleshooting, system reboot or showing hidden files on Mac.

Step 1. Click on the Launchpad to open Terminal.

Step 2. Open the Terminal application to view command line.

Step 3. Type in the following command codes to restart Finder and show all files.


defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool true
killall Finder

Show hidden files on Mac with terminal

Step 4. Press the Enter key. The command sends a signal to restart Finder and then all the hidden files will be shown.


If you want to hide files back, then repeat the operation but change the last word in the command to "false".


defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool false
killall Finder

You will have to open Terminal application for every folder that you want to show hidden files on Mac.

4 Show Hidden Files on Mac with Applescript

Applescript is a built-in automation tool used on Mac system for system optimization. It's a programming language used on scriptable Mac applications. Applescript can be used for calculation, file copying, and text processing, as well as handling other complex technical tasks. It is commonly used by software engineers.

Follow the steps below to show hidden files on Mac with Applescript:

Step 1. Click on the Launchpad icon on your Mac system.

Step 2. Open the script editor's window. Type in the following code:


display dialog "Show all files" buttons {"TRUE", "FALSE"}
set result to button returned of result
if result is equal to "TRUE" then
do shell script "defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool true"
do shell script "defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool false"
end if
do shell script "killall Finder"

Step 3. Click the play button then all hidden files become visible.

Step 4. Select a directory and save the script file.

Show hidden files on Mac with Applescript


If you don't know how to write a scripting language, this method is more difficult  than solutions above.


You can show hidden files on Mac with AnyRecover for Mac, Finder, Terminal and Applescript and then troubleshoot your Mac computer just like a pro. Now, you don't have to worry about any case of system malfunction with your Mac computer. As a piece of excellent data recovery software, AnyRecover is easy to use and allows you to not only show hidden files, but also handle any data loss situation in simple steps. If you are interested in AnyRecover, do not hesitate to download for a free trial. It will nwver let you down!

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By  Mike Sangster , to Hard Drive Recovery

Posted on Apr 29, 2019  ( Updated: Dec 16, 2019 )

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