Showing hidden files in Mac OSX Lion – but not in Finder

Posted: 2011/12/30 in Mac

Problem: I cannot see hidden files (files that start with a period) in anything GUI in Mac OSX Lion (10.7).  Command line, no problem (heck, I even made an alias for ‘l’ = ‘ls -la’ because I use it constantly).  But no-luck in Finder nor any popped-up file-browser.

Story: I was wanting to email a copy of my .bash_profile file as an archive lest I need to see/use/’reinstall’ it at some later time.  The solution found by most is:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

But this makes hidden files show up on the Desktop.  As if Apple had take a cue from Microsoft and made the Desktop an ‘alternate GUI’ to Finder (Microsoft’s Explorer).  Wasn’t the whole point of a Desktop to mirror a real-world desktop… not my filing cabinet (that’s what Finder/Explorer are for)… but I digress.

At this link at , user ‘1253127127‘ gives a GREAT hint for seeing hidden files temporarily!

Solution: Shift-Commmand-Period(.)

So when I want to attach a file to an email, and a file-browser pops up, I press Shift-Command-. and boom – there are all my hidden files!  However, this does NOT work with Finder itself.  In my situation today, that’s not a problem.  Maybe tomorrow it will be…


  1. austinlyons says:

    just used this, thanks!

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