How to Access Your Mac's Hidden Files
Summary: Messing around with certain macOS files could brick your Mac computer, so Apple has made them hard to find. But if you're confident in your skills, here's how to access them safely.
Your computer has backend directories, libraries, and files that help keep the operating system running smoothly. You could end up with serious problems if you delete, move or alter any of these files. This is why it is not recommended that you play around with these files unless you are familiar with the process.
Windows users will find them in File Explorer. Apple has made it a default feature in macOS to hide many of these files, which is designed to keep Mac users away from doing the exact same thing. This means that you won't need to worry about damaging your Mac, but you can still view the hidden files through Finder and your Mac's Terminal.
There are very few reasons you should mess with these files, such as relocating programs directories, or troubleshooting driver issues clear up some hard drive space.
In Finder, you can click your hard drive under Locations, then open your Macintosh HD folder. To make the hidden files appear, press Command + Shift +. To make hidden files visible, press Command + Shift + (period). The same can be done from within the Documents and Applications folders.
However, you will not have access to any files your computer does not want. After you are done, press Command + Shift+. To make folders visible again, hit Command + Shift + (period). You can quickly get to the /Library folder using Finder's top-menu.
You can also quickly access the ~/Library folder from Finder's top menu. To see the shortcuts to access the various folders on your hard drive, click Go. If you press the Option key while holding down, it will open a Library option without any shortcuts. Click Library to view the content of the ~/Library folder.
Find Terminal under Launchpad > Other > Terminal, then run the following commands:
Next, run these commands:. You can hide the files by replacing true with false.
This will look something like this:. If you want to protect password-protected files, or if anyone uses your Mac's computer and tries to find something hidden, this would work well. Anyone can search these files with the above methods, so it isn't a substitute for the file encryption you can use any other legal security precautions.