Here’s a quick tip that can come in handy for web developers dealing with “dot files” like .htaccess, .gitignore, etc.
Easy: There’s an App for That
Funter’s sole purpose is to toggle showing/hiding hidden files. Just install the Funter (File Hunter) app.
Since it’s from an unverified developer (special Mac security precaution), you’ll need to right-click the funter.app from your applications folder and then click Open. You can’t simply double-click it.
TinkerTool and similar apps
There are other apps that include Funter’s functionality as one of their many options.
Just download and install the app of your choice… or use Terminal to do it yourself…
Alternative: Terminal commands
To force Finder to display hidden files and folders via Terminal:
- Open Terminal
- For OS X 10.9 Mavericks, run this command (lower-case finder):
- defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
- For OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, 10.7, or 10.6, run this command (upper-case Finder):
- defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles true
- notice the setting for true
- Then run this command: killall Finder
- Then exit Terminal
To revert back to Finder’s default setting (hide hidden files and folders), run the opposite command but with the false setting.
Then run killall Finder and exit Terminal.
Information from OSXDaily. Only the commands were directly quoted.
- DO NOT MESS WITH GREYED-OUT FILES AND FOLDERS IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY DO. See OSXDaily’s link above for a screenshot of how greyed-out files and folders appear in Finder.
- I have verified these commands worked on my Mac OS X Mavericks and Mountain Lion.
- You don’t need to close your open Finder windows before opening Terminal or running these commands.
- If you have one or more Finder windows open when you run the ‘killall Finder’ command, it’ll re-open all your windows for you.
- If you use the Finder’s Archive Utility app (the default) to unzip .zip files, it unzips all files, including the hidden files, whether your system is set to view hidden files or not.
- However, if you choose to Compress (i.e. send to Archive.zip), the hidden files will get lost unless you select them to be included, which you can only do if your system is set to display them.
- If you don’t want to make changes to your Mac via Terminal but still want to view hidden files, a select few Mac apps like ForkLift and Dreamweaver can get the job done. ForkLift is a file browser, zip/unzip, SFTP, Amazon S3, and all around decent app.
I hope you found this tip useful.