4 Replies Latest reply: Oct 14, 2009 10:41 AM by Jeff Kelleher
caitlyn-caitlyn-caitlyn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
How do I show invisible files on my computer?

I accidently discovered 15GB of hidden files on the computer that I would like to destroy but can't access because it's listed under /Volumes

Anyone know any good programs to make hidden files visible?

iMac 2.66 GHz 2 GB 800 MHz, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • caitlyn-caitlyn-caitlyn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Never mind- I went to Terminal and typed in:
    defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YES

    to show all the hidden files.
  • dbsneddon Level 4 Level 4 (1,525 points)
    I would be wary about deleting things in /Volumes.

  • Andreas  Level 4 Level 4 (1,510 points)
    For safe ways to do the job either with Terminal or in the Finder see (ignore any references to CCC) this document.

  • Jeff Kelleher Level 4 Level 4 (3,015 points)

    The files are "hidden" because, mostly, they are stuff that the average user, and even some advanced users, don't need to mess with, but the OS needs to run. These invisible, are in fact, readily viewable through Terminal. But they are hidden form the GUI to prevent people form erasing stuff. There are all sorts of stories, urban legends, web sites, etc...that tell of the Windows users who open the Windows folder, and delete stuff that they never used before, say the system.ini file - and then they find out that their PC no longer works. In OS , those files are not visible in the GUI. If you want to see them aother way...
    If you open a Terminal window and type 'ls /Volumes'
    (without the 's"
    hit return and you'll get a list of the Volumes attached to your Mac. From there, type 'cd nameofvolume'
    (nameofvolume is one of your HD's or a sharepoint)
    hit return, and you'll see a list of stuff, including the invisible files and folders, that live on your Mac. Unless you absolutely know what you are erasing, leave that stuff alone.

    If you're well aware of all of this, then sorry for the lecture. I'd also be curious to know what files are hidden that you don;t need.