Mac devices usually have many folders and files. While you can view your files, the system also has other invisible files. Apple developers hide some crucial files to prevent users from tampering and causing system malfunctions. However, it is possible to view all the files in your machine when performing particular actions.  For instance, when you want to delete unnecessary data, perform cache clearing or troubleshoot specific programs. Or you might be curious to know the nature of the files in your machine.

Want a Bigger Picture? Here's How to View All Files on Mac

It does not matter why you need to view your files; here are practical options to follow.

Want a Bigger Picture? Here’s How to View All Files on Mac

Use Finder Option

The Finder is an essential feature that assists users in searching and organize the files, and it also allows them to view all the files in the Mac system. It is an easily visible icon on the computer screen.

You can also use a keyboard shortcut to locate it – command + F will open the Finder window. If you want the Finder icon to appear on the dock, go to the core services in the system library, drag and drop. 

Once you open it, you can access all the files through the steps below:

  • Open the preference option
  • Go to the ‘sidebar’ section
  • You will see many options; you can activate or deactivate the option of ‘All My Files.’
  • Another option is to hold down Command + Shift + F to view all the files.

Use Library Option

Apart from using Finder, users can also use the library option to view files. Follow the steps below:

  • Open the Go tab
  • Proceed to the folder button
  • Enter ‘~/Library,’ and it will display all the saved files

Furthermore, users can also change the file presentation according to personal preferences. Viewing files is possible as a column, list, icon, or gallery. In addition, you can customize your views by sorting the files in terms of sizes, dates, or a similar kind.

Sometimes you might want to view bigger images in the preview section for easy identification. Besides, the view supports documents and videos, not forgetting documents with multiple pages. Old Mac operating systems have this view known as the cover flow, but it is not as powerful as the latest versions’ gallery.


As mentioned above, you can view files via the finder option. The sidebar is accessible through the Finder window. You can view the hard drive, standard folders, iCloud drive, etc. One click opens these files easily. In addition, it is also possible to customize the sidebar through the preference settings. Users can add or remove files by dragging them in and out of the sidebar window. Use the above options to view your files with ease and convenience. Whether you want to view larger files or listed folders, use the Finder option for easy navigation. Moreover, it is essential to name your files and folders correctly to achieve proper organization.                                                                                

iLounge author Lucy Bennett

Lucy Bennett is a Contributing Editor at iLounge. She has been writing about Apple and technology for over six years. Prior to joining iLounge, Lucy worked as a writer for several online publications.