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ARCHIVED: In Mac OS X, how do I view invisible files?

As a hybrid of Unix and Mac operating systems, Mac OS X has a few different ways to hide files:

  • Some files and folders have special flags associated with them that tell the Finder not to display them. This behavior is inherited from older versions of Mac OS.

  • Any file or directory that begins with a period ( . ) will be considered invisible by the Finder. This behavior is inherited from Unix.

  • In the top level of your hard disk, there may be an invisible file called .hidden. The Finder will not display any file or directory name listed in this .hidden file. In older versions of Mac OS X, this was a way to hide Unix directories that most users don't need to access. It is still supported in current versions of Mac OS X, but isn't there by default.

To search for any kind of invisible file in OS X, follow the appropriate directions below:

OS X 10.5 and later

  1. With the Finder active, from the File menu, select Find... .

  2. In the Searching window that opens, select how broad you want the search to be. For example, you can choose to search your entire Mac or just your home folder. In the pull-down menu labeled Kind, choose Other... , and in the sheet that appears, find and double-click File Invisible. In the pull-down menu to the right of the first one, select whether you are searching for Visible Items, Invisible Items, or both. The search will then begin.

  3. To narrow your search, you can add additional search criteria, such as a filename, file size, or creation date. Each time you click the + (plus sign) on the right side of the search window, you will add another row to the search criteria.

    To include operating system files, which are normally excluded from the search, click +, then in the pull-down menu labeled Kind, choose Other... . In the sheet that appears, find and double-click System Files. In the pull-down menu to the right of the first one, select whether or not you want to include system files in your search.

OS X 10.4

  1. With the Finder active, from the File menu, select Find... .

  2. In the New Search window that opens, select how broad you want the search to be. For example, you can choose to search your entire computer or just your home folder. In the pull-down menu labeled Kind, choose Other... , and in the sheet that appears, find and double-click Visibility. In the Visible or Invisible pull-down menu to the right, select whether you are searching for Visible Items or Invisible Items. The search will then begin.

  3. To narrow your search, you may add additional search criteria, such as a filename, file size, or creation date. Click the + (plus sign) on the right side of the search window. Each time you click it, you will add another row to the search criteria.
This is document ajyj in domain all.
Last modified on December 05, 2012.

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