How to Hide Files on Mac: A General Guide

As computer users, we all need to protect our files from prying eyes. Whether it’s financial documents or embarrassing selfies, it’s always best to keep things private. For Mac users, it’s not always clear how to hide files on their computer. In this article, we’ll show you 12 easy steps to hide files on a Mac, along with some additional tips and tricks.

Steps to Hide Files on a Mac

Step 1: Create a New Folder

The first step in hiding your files is to create a new folder. You can do this by clicking the “File” menu in the Finder and selecting “New Folder” or by using the keyboard shortcut “Shift + Command + N”. Give your folder a name that won’t draw attention to it, such as “Old Photos” or “Tax Files”.

Step 2: Move Files into the New Folder

Now that you have a new folder, it’s time to move the files you want to hide into it. Click and drag the files from their current location in the Finder to the new folder. You can also use the keyboard shortcut “Command + X” to cut the files and “Command + V” to paste them into the new folder.

Step 3: Rename the New Folder while Hiding It

The next step is to rename the new folder while hiding it from view. Right-click on the folder’s icon and select “Get Info” or use the keyboard shortcut “Command + I”. Check the box next to “Hidden” in the “General” section. Now, change the name of the folder by putting a period (.) at the beginning of the name. This will hide the folder from view.

Step 4: Use Terminal to Hide the Files

If you prefer using the Terminal, you can enter the command “chflags hidden” followed by the directory path for the folder, and hit enter. This will hide the folder from view in the Finder. To unhide the folder, use the command “chflags nohidden” followed by the directory path for the folder.

Step 5: Use a Third-Party App to Hide Files

If you prefer using a third-party app, there are several options available such as Hider 2 or MacHider. These apps allow you to easily hide and unhide files with a simple drag and drop interface. Simply open the app, drag the files you want to hide into it, and click “Hide”.

Step 6: Hide Files in a Disk Image

You can also hide files by creating a disk image. To do this, open Disk Utility, select “File” from the menu bar, and click “New Image” > “Blank Image”. Choose a size for the disk image and make sure to select “none” for encryption.

Step 7: Move Files into the Disk Image and Unmount It

Once you’ve created the disk image, open it and move the files you want to hide into it. Then, unmount the disk image by right-clicking on it in the Finder and selecting “Eject” or by dragging its icon to the Trash. The disk image and the files it contains will be hidden from view until you mount it again.

Step 8: Hide Files with Steganography

Steganography is the practice of hiding information within other information. You can use steganography to hide files on your Mac by inserting them into images or other types of files. There are several apps available that can help with this, such as Steg.

Step 9: Use Terminal to Create a Hidden Folder

If you prefer using the Terminal, you can create a hidden folder by entering the command “mkdir .hidden” and hitting enter. This will create a hidden folder named “.hidden”. Then, move the files you want to hide into this folder.

Step 10: Use Terminal to Hide the Hidden Folder

Once you’ve moved the files into the hidden folder, you can use the Terminal to hide the entire folder from view. Enter the command “chflags hidden .hidden” and hit enter. The folder and its contents will be hidden from view in the Finder.

Step 11: Unhide the Hidden Folder

To unhide the hidden folder, use the Terminal to enter the command “chflags nohidden .hidden” and hit enter. This will make the folder and its contents visible in the Finder again.

Step 12: Use a Secure Folder

If you want to keep your files secure, you can use a secure folder such as VeraCrypt. This app allows you to create an encrypted folder that requires a password to access. Simply open the app, create a new volume, and move the files you want to hide into it.

Explanation

Now that you know the steps to hide files on your Mac, it’s important to understand why you might want to do this. Hiding files can help protect your privacy and keep sensitive information from prying eyes. It’s also a good way to keep your desktop and folders organized and clutter-free.

It’s worth noting that hiding files does not provide complete security. If someone has access to your computer, they can still find hidden files using specialized software or by changing system settings. If you need to keep files truly secure, consider using encryption or a specialized app.

Tips and Tricks

1. Use a password manager to keep track of your passwords

Keeping track of passwords can be a headache, especially if you use different ones for different sites. Using a password manager such as 1Password or LastPass can help simplify the process and keep your passwords secure.

2. Use a virtual private network (VPN) when using public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi networks can be a security risk, as hackers can use them to intercept data and steal information. Using a VPN can help protect your privacy and keep your information secure.

3. Keep your software up to date

Keeping your software up to date is important for security reasons, as updates often include security patches that fix vulnerabilities. Make sure to regularly check for updates and install them when available.

4. Be careful when downloading files from the internet

Downloading files from the internet can be risky, as they may contain malware or other harmful programs. Be sure to only download files from reputable sources and scan them for viruses before opening them.

5. Back up your files regularly

Backing up your files regularly is important in case of data loss or hardware failure. Use an external hard drive or cloud storage service to keep your files safe.

6. Use two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring a second form of verification, such as a code sent to your phone. Enable two-factor authentication on your most important accounts for added security.

7. Use strong, unique passwords

Using strong, unique passwords can help prevent unauthorized access to your accounts. Make sure to use a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols, and avoid using common words or phrases.

8. Be cautious when using public computers

Public computers can be a security risk, as they may have malware or keyloggers installed. Avoid logging into sensitive accounts on public computers and be sure to log out of any accounts you do use.

9. Use anti-virus software

Anti-virus software can help protect your computer from malware and other harmful programs. Make sure to use a reputable anti-virus program and keep it updated regularly.

10. Enable file vault

File Vault is a built-in encryption feature in macOS that can help protect your files from unauthorized access. Enable File Vault in your system preferences for added security.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hiding Files on Mac

Advantages

1. Increased privacy and security: Hiding files on your Mac allows you to keep sensitive information away from prying eyes and potential cyber threats.

2. Organized workspace: Hiding unnecessary or unused files helps reduce visual clutter and enables a neater workspace, making it easier to locate necessary files.

3. Prevents accidental deletion: By hiding certain folders or files, you can avoid accidentally deleting them.

4. Easy to access: Depending on the method used, hidden files on Macs can be easily accessed with simple commands in Terminal or File Explorer.

5. Can be undone easily: If you change your mind or need to access files, you can easily unhide them using the same methods.

6. Useful in group settings: In organizations where multiple people use the same Mac, hiding files is useful to ensure that users only have access to what they need.

7. Helps minimize distractions: Hiding files can improve focus and concentration by reducing the temptation to constantly check and open files that are not currently needed.

8. Helps maintain system performance: Hiding large files or folders that are not frequently used can help maintain system performance and speed since they don’t need to be loaded on startup every time.

9. Protects files from accidental alteration: Hidden files cannot be accidentally altered or deleted by inexperienced users who might not understand their importance.

10. Makes backups easier: By hiding files that don’t require regular backups, the time and space taken for backups can be reduced, making the process quicker and more efficient.

Disadvantages

1. Increased risk of losing files: If you forget where you hide a file or folder and don’t unhide it promptly, you may lose it permanently.

2. Can be used for malicious purposes: Hiding files could be used to conceal illegal activities, malicious software or other harmful elements on your Mac.

3. Can cause confusion: If you regularly hide and unhide files or folders, it could be confusing and time-consuming, especially if you work on multiple projects simultaneously.

4. Limited protection: Hiding files does not offer complete privacy or protection, especially in case of targeted or sophisticated attacks by determined cybercriminals.

5. Inconvenient to access regularly used files: Hiding files that are frequently used can make it inconvenient to access them quickly.

6. May require using Terminal: Depending on the method used, hiding files may require using Terminal, which can be complicated and risky for inexperienced users.

7. Hidden files can still be accessed: Hiding files does not prevent them from being accessed by advanced users who know how to unhide them.

8. Can be forgotten: It’s easy to forget which files or folders have been hidden, particularly if you use multiple methods to hide files. This can cause confusion or delays when trying to retrieve them.

9. Can cause software issues: Hiding system files may cause software issues or malfunctions if the files are needed for proper operation of specific applications or programs.

10. Not recommended for all users: Hiding files is not recommended for all users, particularly for those who share their Mac with others who need access to certain files or folders.

FAQ

1. Can I hide files on my Mac?

Yes, you can hide files on your Mac.

2. How do I hide a file or folder on my Mac?

You can hide a file or folder on your Mac by right-clicking on it, choosing “Get Info,” and then checking the “Hidden” option.

3. Can I hide multiple files or folders at once?

Yes, you can select multiple files or folders and then follow the same steps to hide them all at once.

4. Can a hidden file or folder still be accessed?

Yes, a hidden file or folder can still be accessed through Finder or Terminal.

5. How do I access a hidden file or folder?

You can access a hidden file or folder by opening Finder, clicking “Go” on the menu bar, selecting “Go to Folder,” and then entering the path to the hidden file or folder.

6. Can a hidden file or folder be deleted?

Yes, a hidden file or folder can be deleted just like any other file or folder.

7. How do I unhide a file or folder?

You can unhide a file or folder by right-clicking on it, choosing “Get Info,” and then unchecking the “Hidden” option.

8. Can anyone else access my hidden files or folders?

If someone has access to your computer and knows where to look, they can still access your hidden files or folders.

9. Can I password protect a hidden file or folder?

No, you cannot password protect a hidden file or folder. You may need to use a third-party app to password protect files or folders.

10. Can I hide system files on my Mac?

Yes, you can hide system files on your Mac by using Terminal.

11. How do I hide system files on my Mac?

You can hide system files on your Mac by opening Terminal and entering the command “defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles NO” followed by “killall Finder.”

12. How do I unhide system files on my Mac?

You can unhide system files on your Mac by opening Terminal and entering the command “defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES” followed by “killall Finder.”

13. Can I hide files or folders on an external hard drive connected to my Mac?

Yes, you can hide files or folders on an external hard drive connected to your Mac by following the same steps as hiding files or folders on your computer’s hard drive.

How to Hide Files on Mac

Mac computers are known for their user-friendly features and sleek designs. However, sometimes you might have some files you want to hide from prying eyes. Whether it’s sensitive information or personal photos, hiding your files can give you peace of mind. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips on how to hide files on Mac.

The first method you can use to hide files on Mac is by using the built-in feature called “Hidden.” To do this, select the file or folder you want to hide, right-click on it, and select “Get Info.” In the Info window, check the box next to “Hidden” under “General.” The file or folder should now disappear from view.

If you want to unhide a file or folder, right-click on an empty space in the Finder window and select “Show View Options.” Check the box next to “Show Hidden Items” to reveal the hidden files. You can then uncheck the “Hidden” box for the file or folder you want to unhide.

Another method you can use to hide files on Mac is by changing their file extensions. This method is more advanced and should be used with caution. First, select the file you want to hide and right-click on it. Select “Get Info” and change the file extension by replacing the last three letters with a different extension. This will make the file unrecognizable to most applications and will hide it from view.

If you want to view the hidden file again, change the extension back to its original format. To prevent accidentally revealing the file, you can also change the extension of a related file. For example, if you photos are saved as .jpg files, you can change the extension of a less important .jpg file to the extension you used for your hidden file.

Conclusion and Closing

In conclusion, there are various ways to hide files on Mac. However, it’s important to use these methods responsibly and with caution. Whether you choose to use the “Hidden” feature or change file extensions, make sure to keep a record of what files you’ve hidden and where they are located. Keeping your files safe and secure is important, but it’s also important to not accidentally lose or forget about them.

We hope this article has been helpful to you in learning how to hide files on Mac. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Mac support community or an Apple technician. Until next time, happy file hiding!