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Old Oct 13, 2010, 07:15 PM   #1
karohan
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Search for hidden files

How do I search for hidden files and system files like .plists? I have made hidden files visible in Finder but it still doesn't search for them.
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Old Oct 13, 2010, 07:59 PM   #2
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Click on the “+” under the search, click on kind, then choose system files include.
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Old Oct 13, 2010, 08:02 PM   #3
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Go to Finder > Command + F >
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Old Oct 13, 2010, 11:41 PM   #4
karohan
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Thanks for the replies! That definitely helps me find system files, but it still doesn't find any hidden files. I can seem to find a search attribute corresponding to that, though there are a lot and I may have missed it. I tried using the filter to look for "hidden" but that didn't come up with anything.
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Old Oct 13, 2010, 11:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karohan View Post
Thanks for the replies! That definitely helps me find system files, but it still doesn't find any hidden files. I can seem to find a search attribute corresponding to that, though there are a lot and I may have missed it. I tried using the filter to look for "hidden" but that didn't come up with anything.
For finding hidden files:
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Old Oct 13, 2010, 11:52 PM   #6
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Sweet, thanks a bunch. Is there a way I can set these preferences to be my default?
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Old Oct 13, 2010, 11:56 PM   #7
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Sweet, thanks a bunch. Is there a way I can set these preferences to be my default?
No, but you can set Finder to always show hidden files.

To show hidden files in Finder, enter the following two commands into a Terminal window (press enter after each line):
defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
killall Finder
To hide hidden files, repeat the process, replacing TRUE with FALSE.

I don't recommend it, though. It increases the chance of you accidentally deleting a needed system file and it clutters your desktop and Finder with files you don't need to see all the time.
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Old Oct 14, 2010, 01:13 AM   #8
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Sweet, thanks a bunch. Is there a way I can set these preferences to be my default?
No, not as any global-type pref, unfortunately.

But, we can save searches and then open them later (e.g., from a stack on the dock). Saved searches are useful —not only for some specific complex search we might do frequently —but also for more general stuff. I.e., we can edit the criteria of any saved search later on... and then either save or not save those edits, accordingly. [it's easier to do than it is to explain... just try it.]
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Old Oct 14, 2010, 09:52 AM   #9
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Yeah, I figured out how to show hidden files in Finder and that was useful sometimes, but you're right, it's neater to keep that option off during standard use. I wish there was quick key shortcut to toggle that view on and off.

I might consider using saved searches, that's interesting make-shift sort of solution.
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Old Oct 14, 2010, 10:01 AM   #10
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Another possible solution is to use the command line program "find".
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Old Oct 3, 2011, 08:36 AM   #11
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This is a great hint. I had no idea you could customise the "Find" criteria (I tend to only use Spotlight). And searching for hidden files is very useful. Is there a place useful hints like this get catalogued?
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Old Oct 3, 2011, 11:16 AM   #12
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I don't know of any specific place. I've used UNIX for 30 years -- it's an old UNIX program. Since OS X traces it's roots back to UNIX any source of UNIX hints can be useful.
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