Show Library folder and all hidden files on Mac

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By Erric Buttlar

If you are having trouble on your Mac computer locating specific files. You might find it interesting to know that Apple by default restricts access to a variety of file types. To aid in avoiding any unintended deletions and blunders. There comes a time when Mac users need to show all hidden files on Mac, even though this is very helpful if you are new to the macOS operating system. This short tutorial will walk you through how to make sure you can see every file on your Mac computer and nothing is hidden when you’re doing a search.

Apple conceals data in its macOS operating system to prevent specific system files and directories from being accidentally removed. Finding files on your Mac that may be hidden by default might be a bit frustrating if you are new to the Apple macOS. Particularly when you’re attempting to complete certain actions or tasks that require access to files in the Library folder or specific system folders.

On your iMac, MacBook, or other Apple computers, Apple has thankfully provided a couple of ways to quickly reveal hidden Mac files and the hidden Library folder. Either the Finder file manager app or the command-line terminal app can be used to accomplish this visually. Simply go with the method that makes you feel most comfortable.

Show hidden files on Mac

To disclose all the hidden Mac system files that are greyed out but listed in Finder, launch the Finder application, choose the “Macintosh HD” disc on the left-hand side under the “Locations” column, and press “Command + Shift +. The files will then be immediately hidden from view once more by repeating the shortcut.

If you haven’t previously used the display hidden file shortcut above, it is occasionally required to access the secret /Library folder on Mac machines. To do this, simply open Finder once again. If so, the Library folder will already be shown in the Finder Go menu, as seen in the accompanying image.

Open a new Finder window and choose “Go” to display the drop-down menu to see the Library folder without using the shortcut mentioned above. The Library folder will be visible in your list of locations once you press the “Option” key on your Mac keyboard, which is located between “Control” and “Command.” It is roughly in the middle of the list, just below “Home,” as shown in the image above.

If you want the Mac /Library to always be visible, you can drag it to the Finder’s left-side shortcut section, where it will stay accessible even after your Mac has been shut down.

Using the terminal to reveal macOS hidden files

If you prefer using the command line you can carry out the same action using the Mac Terminal app by entering the following code one at a time :

  • Defaults write AppleShowAllFiles true
  • Kill all Finder

To reverse the process and hide all your files once again on Mac enter the lines of code below one at a time:

  • Defaults write AppleShowAllFiles false
  • Kill all Finder

You can easily reveal hidden files on your Mac either permanently or momentarily by using these straightforward shortcuts and terminal commands. Enabling you to perform specific maintenance on your computer or those of others, and then, after completion, returning them to a hidden state to prevent unintentional deletion.

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