So, I wanted to easily be able to show the hidden files on my MacBook Pro, as things like the .htaccess file on a website need to be edited in order to make sure that certain things work (i.e. the pretty web addresses you type in to get to complex parts of a website quickly).
Since I brought my first MacBook Pro back in 2010, I have always done this manually, which is quite simple.
All you need to do is open a terminal window, and type;
defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
Then holding down the Option Key (or the ALT(ernative) key for those used to Microsoft® Windows®) on your keyboard, hover over the Finder icon in the dock, and perform a Two Fingered Click (Or Right Click for those who are used to using the Microsoft® Windows® or Linux Operating systems) and then perform a one fingered click on the word “Relaunch” (or a Left click for those who are used to using Microsoft® Windows® or Linux) which will close all instances of the Finder App, and reopen a single instance of the application.
It’s worth remembering, by doing this, you’ll stop any files you are copying, transferring, or that are being accessed by Finder from whatever is going on with them. So if you are copying or transferring files from one folder to another, then it’s best to wait until the copying or transfer has finished before you do this.
Once you’ve done this, at some point if you’re like me and slowly find it irritating that you can see hidden files which you really shouldn’t delete, then you’ll want to reverse the process so that those files which you’ve allowed to be shown are tucked away and hidden again.
In the same way as before, you’ll need to open a terminal window, and type;
defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
And following the same procedure as before, start the Finder app from the Mac OS X Dock.
Now, I finally got very fed up with going this each time, and decided to build a small app for OS X, which will toggle between showing and hiding those hidden files, as well as automatically relaunching the Finder app whenever I need to.
I decided to zip it up and turn it into a download for you. I also added a small disclaimer telling you what the app will do, and provide you with a warning first, so that you’ve got the option of cancelling, if you double click on it by mistake.
You can download the app here.Toggle Hidden Files App (Mac App) (1411 downloads)