Viewing hidden files in macOS Finder and file transfer applications

Textpattern CMS releases include some files that have a . as the first character of the filename. These files are typically hidden in macOS Finder natively, though conversely many file transfer applications have a view option for showing these invisible files and some show all files by default.

On this page:

Overview

The root .htaccess file includes system & site configuration details when Textpattern runs on the Apache web server. Similarly, files/.htaccess-dist can be renamed to files/.htaccess and provide a level of control over how files are accessed on the Apache web server.

Non-Apache web servers that ignore or do not parse .htaccess files, e.g. Nginx and IIS, are unaffected by this as their equivalent configuration rules are located elsewhere. Textpattern administrators of non-Apache web servers are not required to follow these steps.

The process of enabling and subsequently disabling viewing of hidden files involves using the Terminal application. In both cases, a change is made to the macOS configuration and Finder is then relaunched to account for the change.

Enabling viewing of hidden files in macOS Finder

  • Open Terminal from Finder → Utilities.
  • Type or copy & paste the following text as one line, then press Return or Enter:
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
  • Assuming no errors, type or copy & paste the following text as one line, then press Return or Enter:
killall Finder

Disabling viewing of hidden files in macOS Finder

  • Open Terminal from Finder → Utilities.
  • Type or copy & paste the following text as one line, then press Return or Enter:
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
  • Assuming no errors, type or copy & paste the following text as one line, then press Return or Enter:
killall Finder

Viewing hidden files in macOS file transfer applications

There are numerous applications to transfer (upload or download) files and directories to and from a web server using macOS. These include Cyberduck, FileZilla and Transmit. Each of these applications includes an option to show or hide hidden files.

Viewing hidden files in Cyberduck

  • Open Cyberduck from Applications.
  • From the View menu, select Show Hidden Files.

A checkmark appears next to the Show Hidden Files menu entry indicating that hidden files will be shown on both the local computer and remote server.

To re-hide hidden files, repeat the above process. The checkmark will disappear and hidden files will not be shown.

Viewing hidden files in FileZilla

  • Open FileZilla from Applications.
  • From the Server menu, select Force showing hidden files.

You may see an explanatory message appear in a dialog. This is expected. A checkmark appears next to the Force showing hidden files menu entry indicating that hidden files will be shown on both the local computer and remote server.

To re-hide hidden files, repeat the above process. The checkmark will disappear and hidden files will not be shown.

Viewing hidden files in Transmit

  • Open Transmit from Applications.
  • From the View menu, select Show Hidden Files.

The Show Hidden Files menu entry changes to Hide Hidden Files. Hidden files will be shown on both the local computer and remote server.

To re-hide hidden files, repeat the above process and select the Hide Hidden Files menu entry. Hidden files will not be shown.

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