How to Hide a Folder on a Mac: Step-by-Step Guide

When it comes to protecting sensitive information on your precious Mac, there are different ways to go about it. One of the most effective means is by hiding specific files and folders. While it may seem like an easy task, it might not be as straightforward as you think, especially if you’re not tech-savvy. However, worry not because we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps and explain how to hide a folder on a Mac effortlessly.


Step 1: Choose The Folder

The first step in the process of hiding a folder on Mac is to select the specific folder that you would like to keep away from prying eyes. Once you’ve identified the folder, right-click on it and select “Get Info”. You can also press the Command and “I” keys.

Step 2: Lock The Folder

In the “Get Info” tab, click on the “General” option, then tick the “Locked” checkbox. This effectively blocks anyone from deleting or modifying the folder, which is one of the ways of securing your files from accidental deletion and tampering.

Step 3: Hide The Folder

Now that the folder is locked, right-click on it again and then click on the “Move to Trash” option. Don’t worry; it won’t be deleted. Instead, it will be hidden from view. To see it again, click on “Finder,” then go to “Preferences” and select “Sidebar”. Finally, click on the “hidden files and folders” option.

Step 4: Create A Hidden Folder

Alternatively, you can choose to create a new folder and then name it with a dot (.) before the name of the file. For example, “.hidden-folder” This naming convention makes the folder invisibile to the naked eye as soon as you create it.

Step 5: Hide The Hidden Folder

To hide the hidden folder, follow the same procedure as outlined in step three. Right-click on the folder, move it to Trash and then select hidden files and folders on the Preferences menu in Finder next time you want to access it.

Step 6: Terminal Command

If you want to hide multiple folders, you can use “Terminal” to execute the command. Launch Terminal, then type “chflags hidden” followed by the folder’s location. This will keep files and folders hidden from view, even after you logout and log back in again.

Step 7: Apply Hidden Attribute

If you don’t want to use Terminal, you can apply an invisible attribute to the files or folders. Right-click on the folder, and then hold the “Option” key. Then click on the “Library” and navigate through “Preferences.” Choose the “” file and then add a new item titled ” AppleShowAllFiles.” change the value to “NO,” then go to Terminal and type “killall Finder” to hide the folder completely.

Step 8: Change Extension Name

You can also try changing the extension of your folder. Rename the file to something like “image.jpg” or “userprofile.png.” This will confuse anyone attempting to locate your files and gives you an extra layer of protection.

Step 9: Use Third-Party App

If you’re not quite familiar with the Terminal commands or not comfortable using them, you can download third-party apps like “Hide Folders” or “Hider” to keep your folders and files away from unauthorised eyes.

Step 10: Move The Folder To Another Location

You can also move your folder to a different location, be it in the same drive or external storage. This makes it challenging for anyone browsing through your computer to trace the file.

Step 11: Use Encryption

If you’re dealing with sensitive information, consider encrypting your files with tools like “Disk Utility” that come pre-installed on your Mac. This will scramble the contents of the file and make it unusable to anyone without the key to decrypt it.

Step 12: Set Up A Separate User Account

If you share a computer with others, it’s wise to set up a separate user account and ensure your files and folders are visible only on your account. This ensures that anyone using your Mac doesn’t accidentally stumble upon your sensitive files.


Now that we have outlined the steps involved, it’s time to provide a little explanation. Hiding a folder on Mac works by changing its attributes. Once these attributes are altered, the folder is no longer visible to the operating system and can’t be accessed or searched for.

Steps six to ten involve changing the file properties by renaming or using third-party apps. Step eleven is more complex and involves the use of encryption to make the file entirely inaccessible. Step twelve involves creating a restricted user account and ensuring that your files and folders are only visible in that account.

Tips And Tricks

Tip 1: Use Unique Folder Names

While this might seem obvious, ensure you use unique folder names to avoid accidentally deleting the wrong folder.

Tip 2: Use A Strong Password

If you’re using encryption to protect your files, be sure to use a strong password. This makes it impossible for anyone to decrypt the file without the password.

Tip 3: Back Up Your Files

Ensure that you have backups. This is vital in case your files are accidentally deleted or your computer crashes.

Tip 4: Keep Track Of Your Files

Keep a record of the names of folders you’ve hidden or moved so that you can access them easily anytime you want.

Tip 5: Avoid Using Cloud Services

Don’t store your sensitive information on cloud services like Dropbox or iCloud, as this makes it easier for anyone to access your files.

Tip 6: Keep Your Mac Secure

Ensure your Mac is secure by using firewalls and antivirus software. This protects against any attempts to hack into your computer from outside.

Tip 7: Clear Your Trash Regularly

Clear your trash regularly to ensure that hidden files and folders are wiped out permanently from your hard drive.

Tip 8: Lock Your Mac

When stepping away from your computer, be sure to lock it. This prevents anyone from accessing your files without your permission.

Tip 9: Use Siri For Password Storage

If securing multiple passwords for different accounts is a hassle, use Siri to store them on your Mac.

Tip 10: Keep Your Mac Updated

Regularly check for updates and ensure that your Mac is running on the latest version of macOS. This ensures that any potential security flaws are patched.


In conclusion, hiding a folder on Mac is critical to safeguarding sensitive information on your computer. Whether you’re using encryption or moving your files to another location, always ensure that you keep backups and use strong passwords. By following the steps provided in this article, you can secure your files and folders and keep them away from unauthorised access.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hiding a Folder on a Mac

Hiding a folder on a Mac can provide certain advantages, but it also comes with its own set of disadvantages. Here are 10 advantages and 10 disadvantages of hiding a folder on a Mac:


  1. Prevents unauthorized access: Hiding a folder on a Mac can prevent unauthorized access to important files and documents.
  2. Keeps files organized: By hiding certain files or folders, you can keep your desktop or folders organized.
  3. Enhances privacy: Hiding files can enhance your privacy, as anyone with access to your computer won’t be able to see them.
  4. Secures confidential documents: Hiding confidential documents can provide an extra layer of security for your personal and professional information.
  5. Avoids visual clutter: As you accumulate more files and documents, hiding certain files can prevent visual clutter and make it easier to find what you need.
  6. Reduces distractions: Hiding files that are not immediately necessary can help reduce visual distractions when working on a specific project.
  7. Prevents accidental deletion: Hiding important files can prevent accidental deletion or alteration.
  8. Avoids embarrassment: Hiding personal files can avoid embarrassment for sensitive or personal content.
  9. Offers additional protection: Hiding files can serve as an additional layer of protection for personal or sensitive data.
  10. Helps comply with regulations: Hiding certain files may be required in order to comply with specific regulations or legal requirements.


  1. May forget where the folder is: If you have a lot of hidden folders, you may forget where certain files are located.
  2. Doesn’t provide complete security: Hiding a folder doesn’t provide complete security because someone with the right know-how can still view or access the files.
  3. May be easily discovered: Hiding folders can be easily discovered, especially if someone knows what to look for.
  4. Can cause confusion: Hiding folders may cause confusion for other users who are not aware of the hidden files or folders.
  5. Inconvenient to access: Hiding a folder may be inconvenient to access if you need to use the files frequently.
  6. Requires extra steps to access files: Hiding a folder requires extra steps to access files, which may slow down productivity or workflow.
  7. Not foolproof: Hiding files is not foolproof and can be bypassed by certain software or individuals.
  8. May cause suspicion: Hiding folders may cause suspicion from others who may assume you have something to hide.
  9. Cannot hide system files: Certain system files cannot be hidden, which may not provide complete privacy.
  10. May require additional software: In some cases, additional software may be required to hide files or folders, which can be time-consuming and costly.


Hiding files or folders on a Mac can be a helpful tool in enhancing privacy and security. However, it also comes with its own set of disadvantages that should be considered before implementing this tool. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to weigh the advantages and disadvantages and decide if hiding certain files or folders is the right choice for their needs.


1. Is it possible to hide a folder on a Mac?

Yes, it is possible to hide a folder on a Mac.

2. Why would someone want to hide a folder on a Mac?

Someone might want to hide a folder on a Mac for various reasons such as protecting the folder from unauthorized access, keeping sensitive information private, and organizing files for personal use.

3. How can I hide a folder on a Mac?

To hide a folder on a Mac, you can either change the folder’s name to one that starts with a period, or you can use the “chflags” command in the Terminal.

4. What happens when I rename a folder with a period at the beginning?

Renaming a folder with a period at the beginning will make it a hidden folder on a Mac.

5. How do I access a hidden folder on a Mac?

You can access a hidden folder on a Mac by using the “Go To Folder” feature in the Finder or by using the Terminal.

6. Can hidden folders be seen by other users on my Mac?

No, hidden folders cannot be seen by other users on your Mac unless they have administrative privileges.

7. How do I unhide a folder on a Mac?

To unhide a folder on a Mac, simply remove the period at the beginning of the folder’s name or use the Terminal to remove the hidden attribute.

8. Can I hide multiple folders on a Mac at once?

Yes, you can hide multiple folders on a Mac at once by selecting them all and changing their names to ones that start with a period.

9. Is there a way to password-protect a hidden folder on a Mac?

Yes, you can password-protect a hidden folder on a Mac by using third-party software such as Knox or Disk Utility.

10. Can I create a shortcut to a hidden folder on a Mac?

Yes, you can create a shortcut to a hidden folder on a Mac by dragging the folder to the Dock or by creating an alias using the “Make Alias” feature in the Finder.

11. What happens if I delete a hidden folder on a Mac?

If you delete a hidden folder on a Mac, the folder and its contents will be permanently deleted and cannot be recovered.

12. Can I hide folders on a Mac without using the Terminal?

Yes, you can hide folders on a Mac without using the Terminal by right-clicking on the folder and selecting “Get Info”. In the “General” section, check the box next to “Hidden”.

13. Can I still search for files within a hidden folder on a Mac?

Yes, you can still search for files within a hidden folder on a Mac by using Spotlight or the Terminal.

How to Hide a Folder on a Mac

Are you looking for a way to hide some of your folders on your Mac? There may be several reasons why you would want to do this. Maybe you want to keep some of your personal documents away from prying eyes or you simply want to keep your desktop neat and organized. Whatever your reason may be, hiding a folder on a Mac is a relatively easy process.


As we have seen, there are a few different ways to hide a folder on a Mac. Whether you want to use the Terminal, the built-in feature on your Mac, or a third-party app, you can choose the method that works best for you. No matter which method you choose, you can rest assured that your folders will remain hidden and secure.


Now that you know how to hide a folder on your Mac, you can take control of your privacy and keep your digital life organized in the way that makes sense to you. So go ahead and start hiding those folders! If you have any questions or would like to share your favorite folder-hiding method, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Thanks for reading and goodbye!