Hide Folders Mac Os x

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Hide Folders in Mac
OS X
Jan 6, 2012 - 25 Comments
'

Need to hide a folder or two on a Mac? A while back we
showed you how to make invisible folders and to even
how to make hidden folders in Mac OS X, but now
we’re going to demonstrate how to turn an existing
folder into a hidden folder.
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How to Hide Folders in Mac OS X





Hiding existing folders is fairly easy:
Launch the Terminal, found in /Applications/Utilities/ or
from Launchpad
Type the following command:
chflags hidden /path/to/folder/

When finished, close out of Terminal
For example, to hide a folder in my home directory
named “Secrets” the command would be:
chflags hidden ~/Secrets/

The folder will immediately disappear from visibility,
becoming hidden from the Finder. This includes
everything contained within the folder as well, whether
they are more files or other folders.
If you want to truly hide the folder and it’s contents, take
an extra step and exclude the folder from Spotlight
indexing. This makes sure that none of the files inside of
it can be found through the Spotlight search feature in
OS X.
While this hides folders from being visible in the GUI and
will keep 95% of users unaware of the folders existence,
keep in mind that practically anything is visible from the
command line, and if an advanced user was keen or
determined enough, they could probably track down the
folder or its contents.

Access the Hidden Folders in Mac OS X



Now that the folder is hidden, here is how to access it:
From the Mac OS X desktop, hit Command+Shift+G to
bring up the “Go To Folder” window
Enter the same path to the folder as you used when
hiding it:

You’ll now be inside the hidden folder, able to open,
copy, move, and use the contained files and folders as
usual.

Unhiding the Folder in Mac OS X





If you no longer want the folder to be hidden anymore,
here’s what to do:
As before, launch the Terminal application
Enter the following command:
chflags nohidden /path/to/folder/

Close the Terminal
As an example, to unhide a folder on the users desktop
named “Secret Folder” the command would be:
chflags nohidden ~/Desktop/Secret Folder/

Again, the folder will become immediately visible to the
desktop. If you blocked the contents from Spotlight, you
may want to remove it from there as well to be able to
find and locate as usual.
If you read OSXDaily with any regularity, some of this

will be familiar to you for good reason. The chflags
nohidden command is the same thing we use to show
the Library directory in OS X Lion, and accessing the
folder once it is hidden is done the same way we access
the user Library folder when it’s hidden as well.
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Related articles:
• Hide Anything from Spotlight in Mac OS X
with the Library Folder
• Quickly Hide a File in Mac OS X Using
chflags
• Hide the Toolbar in Mac OS X Finder
Windows
• Show the Path Bar in Mac OS X to Work
Better in the Finder File System
Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Command Line, Mac OS X,
Tips & Tricks

You can start editing here.

25 Comments

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Fernando says: January 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm I think the
last Terminal command typed should be: chflags
nohidden ~/Desktop/Secret\ Folder/Reply
#comment-##
Brian Yang says: January 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm For
privacy I wish I had known about this in the days where I
shared a computer with my family!Nowadays, this allows
ultraminimalism without disabling everything in entirety.
Reply

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#comment-##
René Dubois says: January 6, 2012 at 11:03 pm
Excellent use of chflagsReply
#comment-##
A.J. says: January 6, 2012 at 11:15 pm Not able to hide
an existing folder.
If I have an existing folder in my desktop entitled AJ
is this how i would type it?
chflags hidden ~/desktop/AJ/thanksReply
BT says: January 7, 2012 at 12:53 pm Close, it’d be :chflags
hidden ~/Desktop/AJ/capitalization is important Reply
Brian says: January 9, 2012 at 9:52 pm Capitalization isn’t
actually that important, unless you’re on an HFS+ Case –
Senstitive volume.Reply
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James says: January 7, 2012 at 10:29 am I think a better
way to keep content on your Mac private is to create a
small encrypted disk image with a password. Even if
someone does snoop, they can’t open it.On mine, I
change the icon to a regular folder and name it
something boring so it doesn’t stand out.Instructions on
Apple’s site:
http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1578Reply
#comment-##
EldRick says: January 7, 2012 at 12:35 pm It’s a lot
easier to just use InvisibleX…Reply
#comment-##
Password Protect Zip Files in Mac OS X says:
January 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm […] Adding an additional layer of
security to a hidden folder […]Reply
#comment-##

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Patirck says: January 8, 2012 at 2:56 am Does this work
in Tiger? I have an old PPC MacMini that I’m using as a
filer server with two external drives. I was wanting to
hide some folders on those external volumes. When I use
the command “chflags hidden /path…” it comes back
with “chflags: invalid flag: hidden”.Reply
er says: January 8, 2012 at 7:11 pm Tiger might not run Bash
in the terminal by default.
Launch terminal and type: env
If one of the lines says:SHELL=/BIN/TCSH
then you need to change it.If you need to change the
shell, start Netinfo Manager in /Applications/Utilities.
Then click on users and then your short username.
Replace /bin/tcsh in the shell entry with /bin/bash. Save
your changes, logout and back in.After all this it may still
not work because chflags may or may not work in Tiger.
Good luckReply
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tripleman says: January 8, 2012 at 10:10 am I don’t
think that excluding the folder from spotlight is a great
idea. It doesn’t take a genius to just look at spotlight’s
preferences to see what you don’t want to be found.








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#comment-##
Jim says: January 9, 2012 at 6:57 am Hideaway.app –
much easier and faster.Reply
#comment-##
A.J. says: January 10, 2012 at 2:24 am Thank you BT,
that worked. OK now my problem is that Now that the
folder is hidden, I can not access it. Per the
instructions…Now that the folder is hidden, here is how
to access it:
From the Mac OS X desktop, hit Command+Shift+G
to bring up the “Go To Folder” window. Enter the same

path to the folder as you used when hiding it:When I
type the file path I use to hide the folder my result says,
file can not be foundReply
Andy says: April 23, 2012 at 2:42 am I hope you are not
trying with the whole chflags thing again in Go To Folder.
Just type the path of folder i.e. the chflags command
without “chflags hidden”.TIP:
After hiding the folder see the command, leave the first
two words (“chflags hidden”) and copy the rest
somewhere to remember. Because that is what you need
to type in “Go To Folder” every time you need those
hidden files.Reply
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#comment-##
Andy says: April 23, 2012 at 2:25 am In the example
given to access the hidden folder you should use
~/Secrets/
in the Go To FolderReply
#comment-##
Cabel says: April 26, 2012 at 6:10 pm The only problem
is that all you have to do to see a hidden file or check if
there are any hidden files is enter
defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles
YES in a command line. Is there any way to make it
hidden from even that?Reply
#comment-##
Fernando says: April 30, 2012 at 11:11 am Hi, I have a
usb drive that I use for work (and winxp), so I got
infected with something that change the folders on the
usb: all the folders are transformed into a .exe (with the
virus on it) and the real folder become ‘hidden’. (The
trick is if you double click on it, it will show you the files
—they still are in the real-hidden folder— AND execute
the virus on your pc)
But, if use this command, I can unhidden this real

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folder, until I dismount this drive: next time I mount this
drive, folders will be hidden —again. How can I
permanently ‘nohiden’ a folder in a usb drive?
Of course, the first thing is to ‘wipe’ my pc… Reply
#comment-##
Quickly Hide a File in Mac OS X Using chflags
says: July 19, 2012 at 6:00 pm […] to quickly hide a file from
prying eyes? Just like you can hide folders, you can hide
individual files too. Here is how to do this using the
command line tool […]Reply
#comment-##
shiningjade says: July 26, 2012 at 11:36 am the
chflags actually works.
however, it is unlock the damned folder, but not the
contains.
my mate gave me a single folder which contains a
considerable amounts of sub folder. And each sub folder
has bunch of files. do i have to unhide the damned files
one by one ?Reply
#comment-##
SyberKnight says: October 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm can
this also be done to the root level “System” and
“Library” folders?Reply
#comment-##
jahed hossain says: January 12, 2013 at 11:57 am very
goodReply
#comment-##
calvin says: February 27, 2013 at 1:55 pm this is all
very helpful, but when i hide the folder with everything
in it the files still come up if i merely go to all my files.
Reply

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#comment-##
Rahul says: January 15, 2014 at 6:58 am How can I add
“space” in Terminal. whenever I try hiding my folder
“New Files” it doesn’t work.Thank YouReply
IT says: January 15, 2014 at 9:26 am For placing spaces
functionally in the terminal, use quotes or a backslash in

the command string, like so: “New Files” or New\ Files
Reply

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