When using Finder on OS X, I prefer a clean view, without hidden files all over. But for those times that I’m actually looking for a hidden file, I want a quick way to toggle hidden files visibility. Here’s how to do it from the terminal.
Bash aliases for controlling hidden file visibility
alias hidden_show='defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES && killall Finder /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app' alias hidden_hide='defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles NO && killall Finder /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app'
Just add these aliases to your favourite place for auto-loading bash stuff. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go ahead and edit the
.bash_profile file in your home directory (in terminal, you can run
nano ~/.bash_profile). It’s OK to create one if it doesn’t already exist.
With these aliases configured, you can always jump into terminal, and run
hidden_show to show hidden files, and
hidden_hide to hide hidden files. Feel free to change the names of the aliases if you’d like to 🙂 .
Note that the aliases will become available for any new terminal session after saving the modified
.bash_profile. You can apply it in existing sessions by running
source ~/.bash_profile (or just reopening the terminal).