Could ._ files contain malicious software?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Kammik, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. Kammik macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2017

    Doing clean install after mess up, put my image, video, music, text files to external hard drive (not time machine). I was checking them in Windows computer and found many files having copies that all started with " ._ " Like image.png was ._image.png
    None of them could be opened. I checked Internet and seems Mac just makes copies like that for system.

    But no where can I find answer - could these files carry anything malicious for Mac?
    Or are they same as any image file? As in risk of ._ files having anything bad in them being as low as risk of image/video/music/text files having anything bad in them?
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Nope, no need to worry.
  3. Kammik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2017
    Hello and thanks for quick reply!

    So these files are not... what is the right word... executable files? They won't be carrying code that could run in Mac or something like that?
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    If I'm not mistaken, the "." at the beginning of file/folder name is used to make those files/folders "invisible" in the finder. That's all.

    They're invisible because they aren't files that a user would need to access under most circumstances.

    You can use a utility app like Pathfinder to make normally-invisible files visible (and then restore them to invisibility).
  5. Mikael H macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2014
    Technically, any file can carry something malicious, so it would be silly to make a general claim that it isn't so.
    In practice, however, the risk is pretty negligible. Specifically in your case, it clearly has to do with having copied files from a Mac computer to a hard drive that was formatted to work with Windows.

    Technical explanation:
  6. Toutou macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2015
    Prague, Czech Republic
    No, they aren't even image files. They carry some additional data that would, on a Mac formatted drive, be kind of embedded in the file system.

    The naming is just a convention. dot-something files are traditionally "hidden files" in Unix/Linux systems and the underscores are there just so there's no mistake.

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5 February 14, 2017