Rant over hidden files and folders

Discussion in 'macOS' started by kirkbross, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. kirkbross macrumors 6502a


    Mar 6, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Namely: Library and its contents.

    If Windows can do it, I'm confident Leopard 10.5.6 can too. None of the myriad permutations of the below Terminal command work.

    # defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool TRUE
    # KillAll Finder
    When I "search this Mac" in the Finder or querry Spotlight, I want nothing but nothing excluded from results. I am an adult. I am not a computer retard in danger of ruining my OS through hasty file relocation or deletion. I want my search returns to include even the most sensitive system files which, if accidentally deleted, would cause my Mac Pro to reach out through my monitor and stab me in the face.

    Folder example: there are several folders called "Mozilla" on my system, and yours if you use Firefox. Good luck finding a folder called "Mozilla" using the Finder or Spotlight. You'll have to know where it is and manually navigate there.

    File example: I have a file called userChrome.css buried in users/me/Library/AS/Mozilla/ext/yadaYoda, But when I search for "userChrome.css" -- Mac OS peers out at me through it's glowing red eye and says, very calmly, "What are you doing Dave? I can't let you do that Dave."

    Can anyone tell me how to really & truly include ALL files and folders in searches? I'll reiterate that I've tried a dozen terminal commands I found online.
  2. GaseousPlatypus macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2004
  3. illegallydead macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2007
    Are you saying that you can't get the hidden folders/files to display at all? If that is the case, you have a simple problem: Capitalize the "f" in Finder. The code needs to look like this:

    defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YES
    killall Finder
    Again, punctuated and capitalized EXACTLY like that.

    I am attaching a little AppleScript that I wrote to make this a little easier (so you don't have to manually go into Terminal every time)

    If that is not your problem, than sorry for telling you something you already know :p

    As for having the Files come up in searches... well, that is not as easy. Apparantly Spotlight is hard-coded to exclude hidden/system files for "simplicity for the average user". It appears that you have to modify its rules .plist file, certainly not ideal. This LINK has instructions, though they do not seem ideal or at all simple...

    Attached Files:

  4. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Type in the name of the file, choose "Show All" and press return to bring up the actual spotlight search results window. From there you click the little + button and in the left hand menu select "System Files" and in the right hand menu select "Include".
  5. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    To get Finder to search entire Mac:

    1. Open a Finder window
    2. Do a cmd+f (or File > Find ...)
    3. Under 'Kind' choose 'other'
    4. Select the check box next to 'System Files'
    5. Click OK
    You'll now be able to choose System Files from that menu and it will search more than the regular setup. Also, be sure when using it to set the drop menu next to it to 'include.'
  6. kirkbross thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 6, 2007
    Los Angeles
    This worked! THANK YOU.

    I should have been able to figure that out had I used the CMD+F to search. I was simply double-clicking my HD and using the search field, so there was't an 'options drop down menu' on the left side for Kind. Der. Spotlight is still a different issue, due to its design, but I'm all good now that I know how to include system files.

    Thank you.
  7. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007
    Also you can try "EasyFind" which will find all files and Forklift or Pathfinder "finder type explorers will also show all hidden files.

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