finder-iconViewing hidden files on a Mac is useful for accessing the hidden directories or for recovering Music from an iPod. Additionally, by prefixing the name of a folder with a ‘.’, you can create a folder that is seemingly hidden from prying eyes.

To view hidden folders:

  1. Open the Terminal (located in /Applications/Utilities/)
  2. At the command prompt type
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool true
  3. Press return to execute the command.
  4. For the changes to take effect, either log out then log back in again, or hold ‘alt’ on the keyboard and right click on the Finder icon.
  5. Click on Relaunch

You should find you will now be able to see any hidden files or folders. Once you are done, perform the steps above however, replace the terminal command in step 4 with:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool false