Search for hidden files

Discussion in 'OS X' started by karohan, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #1
    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.
     
  2. macrumors P6

    -aggie-

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    #2
    Click on the “+” under the search, click on kind, then choose system files include.
     
  3. Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #3
    Go to Finder > Command + F >

    [​IMG]
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #4
    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.
     
  5. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    For finding hidden files:
    ScreenCap 2.PNG
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #6
    Sweet, thanks a bunch. Is there a way I can set these preferences to be my default?
     
  7. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #7
    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.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Hal Itosis

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    #8
    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.]
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #10
    Another possible solution is to use the command line program "find".
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Spectrum

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    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?
     
  12. macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #12
    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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