The Mac’s Finder might be a useful tool for browsing through folders and files, and it serves as a somewhat convoluted app and file launcher, but why doesn’t Apple make it easy to view hidden files and folders?
Clever Mac apps developers have come up with a number of inexpensive utilities that do just that. Hide folders and files. Open hidden or invisible folders and files. While there’s not much value in viewing hidden files and folders that are already on your Mac, there is value in hiding files in a hidden folder; filesyou don’t want others to see.
The Secret Is Xusto
There isn’t much to these un-hide apps. All the features are already available with the right Unix commands using the Terminal app, but that’s all geeky and requires you to muck around in the command line. That’s like, so 1985, you know?
XustoSecret is one of many utilities for Mac users to both hide folders of files, and unhide folders that are already hidden. Once installed, any folder can be hidden right from within the Finder. Also from within the Finder you can reveal hidden folders, including the user Library folder. Select hide or reveal and what you want shows up in the Finder.
If you’re looking for additional features, well, there are none. That’s about as simple as you can get. If you want to go beyond just hiding and unhiding folders in the Finder, there are a few options.
For a few bucks more there’s an app called Hide My Files which lets you hide specific files. Again, it’s more of a security through obscurity method than a way to keep hackers from getting to your files.
Many such utilities are so simple they don’t get updated frequently, if ever, so caveat emptor applies. A quick search of the Mac App Store revealed about a dozen such utilities; again, not updated frequently. While security-through-obscurity works to a degree, and there may be a need to open up hidden files from within the Finder, a Mac user needs to exercise some care to avoid mucking up the file structure.
If all you need to do is hide files from prying eyes I recommend Encrypto. It’s free. It’s easy. It’s highly secure.