If you have sensitive files that you need to keep away from prying eyes, here is how to hide files on Mac.
Most of the time, your files don’t really need to be hidden because most users probably wouldn’t care, but if you have a handful of “important files” you’d rather not leave them exposed for someone to find. There are ways to hide files so that they are completely hidden from the naked eye.
Of course, if you have a password associated with your user account on your Mac, you don’t have to worry about hiding files unless there are other users who know your password. Otherwise, if you don’t have a password set, you might consider a method to hide files if you don’t want other users to find them.
Fortunately, there are several methods you can use to hide files, some more complex (but better at hiding files), others easier to use (but not entirely foolproof).
And no, simply placing your hidden files deep within a nested folder system will not hide them, as you can search for them quite easily using Spotlight Search.
Without further ado, here is how you can hide files on Mac.
Using Terminal to Hide Files
This method involves using Terminal, a built-in Mac utility that shouldn’t necessarily be used by novices, but it’s the best method to hide files completely. Also, as long as you follow the steps and copy and paste the commands correctly, it will be easy.
First, open Terminal by going to the folder (or just typing in Spotlight Search and hitting Enter). Once it opens, type and then a space. Then find the folder you want to hide and drag and drop it into the Terminal window. This will put the file path in the folder without having to type it.
Next, hit Enter and this folder will then be completely hidden, with no other way of accessing it other than going back to Terminal and showing it.
Type in Terminal followed by a space to show the folder. You will have to manually enter the path to the folder, as you cannot drag and drop the folder into Terminal this time.
Again, this isn’t the most convenient method, but it’s the only 99% foolproof method you can use if you need complete privacy.
Using Apps to Hide Files
If terminal isn’t something you want to mess with, you can use third-party apps to hide files and folders; this is easier overall, but easier to get around.
Name of one of the best apps to hide files and folders uncertaintyand absolutely ingenious.
Obscurity is an application disguised as a folder and when opened normally it only reveals an empty folder. However, by right-clicking on it and selecting , you will reveal all your hidden files.
From here, you can drop any files into the folder you want, and they won’t show up in Spotlight Search results or Smart Folders either. You can also rename the “app” to whatever you want and place it wherever you want on your Mac. You can also create as many of these folders as you want by copying and pasting Obscurity multiple times.
The only downside to this method is that if people know about this app, it can be pretty easy for them to understand it and find your hidden files with very little effort.
Using Disk Utility to Encrypt Folders
While not necessarily hiding files and folders, encrypting them can at least prevent other users from accessing certain files and folders.
There are tons of encryption utilities you can download to encrypt files and folders, but OS X comes with its own encryption utility within Disk Utility.
Open Disk Utility by typing in Spotlight Search and pressing . When it opens, go to the menu bar and go to .
Select the folder you want to encrypt and click it. Give it a name and make sure to choose it from the dropdown next to it. From there, press the button and then you will be asked to give the folder a password that will prevent others from accessing it. Enter a password and click.
This method creates a disk image that you can put anywhere on your Mac, and while it won’t necessarily be hidden, anyone trying to open it will have to enter the password that only you (hopefully) will know. .