Hide and unhide files or directories visibility with chflags on macOS

Published on Dec 25, 2023

2 min read


The chflags command in macOS is a command for quickly hiding or unhiding files and directories. It is particularly useful for managing the visibility of files by altering their flags.

Unhiding files or Directories


You might need to access files located in the Library directory. On a new Mac setup, this directory is hidden by default, making it less accessible for everyday users.

To make a hidden file or directory visible, use the nohidden flag with the chflags command. For example, to unhide the Library directory:

chflags nohidden ~/Library

This command removes the hidden attribute and makes the Library directory visible in the Finder.

Hiding files or directories


If you want to hide a file or directory, use the hidden flag. This is useful for decluttering your view or protecting sensitive files from accidental access. For example, to hide the Library directory again:

chflags hidden ~/Library

By using the hidden flag, the Library directory will no longer be visible in the Finder.



The chflags command is powerful for managing file visibility on macOS.

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