Hide and unhide files or directories visibility with chflags on macOS

Published on Dec 25, 2023

2 min read

TOOLS

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

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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 unhidden flag with the chflags command. For example, to unhide the Library directory:

chflags unhidden ~/Library

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

Hiding files or directories

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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.

Conclusion

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


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I'm a software developer and a technical writer. On this blog, I write about my learnings in software development and technical writing.

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