OS X Finder Visibility

There are times when navigating the filesystem of a Mac that the Finder comes in handy. Like being able to drag and drop files and folders into Terminal and have the path automagically appear instead to having to type the whole thing. Unfortunately by default, much of the OS is hidden but there are ways way to see it.

You can always use the Finder’s “Go” menubar item to “go to folder” (keystroke: Cmd+Shift+G) to access hidden directories. That can get tedious if you’re repetitively accessing hidden folders. So how do we make the invisibles visible?

To reveal all files in the Finder including hidden ones open Terminal and enter:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES

Now to make the change appear, quit the Finder by entering this.

killall Finder

And to start the Finder in the event that it doesn’t relaunch¬†immediately enter the following to make the Finder reveal everything.

open -R /

Now if you would like to hide those files again.

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles NO

And finally follow steps 2 and 3 above to quit and relaunch the Finder and you’re back to where you started.

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