Sometimes computers malfunction, and that can mean your files get moved to folders you've never visited before. That's when looking in your hidden files can help.
On a Mac, there are many areas where a hidden file could appear. In fact, there are three separate libraries where you can look for hidden files.
Here's how to find the hidden files on your Mac.
How to show hidden files on Mac in Finder
1. Click the Finder app in your bottom toolbar (it's the half-tone face icon). If you don't see your computer's name listed in the Finder sidebar, continue to the next step. Otherwise skip to step four.
2. Click Finder in the top toolbar and select Preferences.
3. In the pop-up window, select the Sidebar tab, then check the box next to your computer's name.
4. Go into Finder and select your computer's name in the sidebar.
5. Click Macintosh HD.
6. Press Command + Shift + period key. Hidden files will then appear, and some, if not all, will be greyed out.
7. Repeat the keyboard shortcut to hide the files again.
How to show hidden files on Mac in Terminal
For those who aren't familiar with Terminal, it's basically a command-line system that allows you to take control over, and interact with, your operating system.
To the uninitiated, it might not be worth the effort. But if you're already familiar with the Mac Terminal, you may find that this process is a bit faster:
1. Open the Terminal (if you haven't added it to your dock, you can find it by clicking the launchpad and searching for Terminal).
2. Paste in defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles true and hit Return.
3. Paste in, or type out, killall Finder and hit the return key again.
To make the files hidden again, change true to false in the original command.
How to find the Library folder and different types of libraries
Your Mac actually has three libraries, and each are accessed in different ways:
Try using third-party file managers
A third-party file manager can provide a slightly more convenient way to view your hidden files alongside all your other data since it would all be visible on one interface. Some examples of file managers include: