On any computer system there are files that run behind the scenes. Most of these files help the computer run smoothly or are connected with applications that are either sleeping or need to be launched quickly. However, there are hidden files that may be parts of malware. These hidden files can siphon off information and send the data files back to an external host; all without you knowing it. Other problems may include hidden files bogging down the computer and slowing it to a halt. Due to this, you need to know how to show hidden files Mac has running.
Why Does Your Mac Hide Files?
It isn't that Mac is hiding the files. It's not trying to be secretive or prevent you from knowing what's going on. There are files you just don't need to know about. The clock on your computer is running, and there's a file that's keeping this time. You don't need to know about the file. There are other applications running in the background designed to improve the performance of the computer. You don't need to know about these files either.
Plus, the files aren't exactly "hidden." You need to know how to show hidden files Mac has running. This is a straight forward process as all you need to do is bring up the Activity Monitor on the computer.
The files aren't exactly "hidden." You need to know how to show hidden files Mac has running. This is a straight forward process as all you need to do is bring up the Activity Monitor on the computer.
The Activity Monitor shows you all the files running on the computer system, including the system resources these files are using.
The Activity Monitor shows you all the files running on the computer system, including the system resources these files are using. If you suddenly feel a laptop is running hot, or if the fan kicks on and the system is running sluggish, it's because there is a file that has become stuck and is pulling more resources than it should. By understanding how to show hidden files Mac has running, you'll be able to identify the exact files doing this and either force quit the file or uninstall the program.
What Is The Terminal Operation?
The Terminal Operation isn't exactly the best way to go about discovering how to show hidden files Mac has running. If you've ever used a DOS based operating system, this is essentially what Terminal allows you to do. It allows you to use a command prompt to execute certain actions on your computer. All operating systems have a similar element built into the computer. With the command prompts you type in set codes that instruct the computer how to work.
Terminal does allow you to see hidden files that are running, so this is a viable option; although it is substantially longer than using the Activity Monitor. Now, should you find after using the Activity Monitor you're unable to quit a file or prevent it from running, Terminal makes it easier for this. The chances of a file not closing out when force quit within Activity Monito are slim, but it can happen. In these instances knowing how to locate the files in Terminal is helpful.
Quick Way To Launch Terminal
When looking at how to show hidden files Mac has running, the fastest way to do this using Terminal is to press and hold the "CMD", "Shift" and "." keys all at the same time. This will automatically open Terminal and show you the hidden files running. This is the fastest way to see the files running.
Now, when using Terminal, you do need to know what the files are. You don't want to just go about closing out files because you think it might be bad. This is a quick way to crashing your computer and causing irrefutable damage to the hard drive (forcing you to perform a backup installation of the operating system and potentially losing all kinds of stored data).
Long Way To Use Terminal To Show Hidden Files Mac Has Running
In some instances you'll need to use the long way at showing hidden files. You usually won't need to do it this way but it's possible some hot keys have been changed over time on your computer. You may also just want to know how to fully use the coding element of Terminal.
First, you'll need to launch Terminal. This can be found by either typing in "Terminal" into the search field in the upper-right corner of the screen, or by clicking the Finder, followed by Applications and then Utilities.
When Terminal loads you'll want to type in the following (or just copy and paste it in):
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES
In some instances you'll need to use the long way at showing hidden files. You usually won't need to do it this way but it's possible some hot keys have been changed over time on your computer.
Now, push the Return button. Allow Terminal to display new information. It will appear on your screen line by line. From here hold down the "Option" button, then right-click the "Finder" icon on the dock and choose "Relaunch" from the list of pull-down options.
Once you do this, the computer will display all of the hidden files. If you want to hide the files again (perhaps there is a program you're running in the background that you don't want others to know about, such as a security application), you'll want to return to the Terminal and type the following command in (or copy and paste it):
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles NO
There are longer worded methods for accessing the hidden files on your Mac or to hide the files at the same time, but these methods are especially code heavy and it is best to avoid using the heavy coding elements within Terminal unless you know exactly what you're doing. This is because typing in a single wrong key can completely alter how the computer is running. So when it comes to how to show hidden files Mac has running, stick to these methods or use the Activity Monitor.
When Should You Delete Or Close Terminal Files?
After considering how to show hidden files Mac has running, you'll want to know when you should delete or close terminal files. First, if you have looked up anti-virus information and have identified a file you know for a fact to be a virus, you should delete the file and select it to stop.
In other instances, also know exactly what the file is and what will happen if you close it. This is why most people do not go into Terminal on their Mac, because it opens you up to such potential problems.
It's also why you should consider using the Activity Monitor first. The Activity Monitor will give you additional information into what is going on and what the files are doing. This way, you can spot the files and then try to force quit the files before moving into Terminal.
How To View And Show Hidden Files On A Mac
When considering how to show hidden files Mac has running, you now know how to use the Terminal to look into hidden files. You can also use the Activity Monitor for most instances. There are a few times where the Activity Monitor will not display what files are running on the computer. Certain viruses may hide the files from the Activity Monitor. These are especially well placed malware files, so if your computer is running sluggish and nothing comes up with the Activity Monitor you'll want to use the Terminal.
In other instances, there may be an application running you don't want someone else to know about (or others don't want you to know about). These are usually security monitoring programs. If you want to monitor the Internet browser usage on the computer (such as if your child is using the Internet and you want to know what websites they are visiting) you can activate such an application that is hidden and runs in the background. There are keystroke applications you might be running as well.
In these instances the files will not always appear on the Activity Monitor, but these applications and files are few and far between. so chances are, you'll be able to use Activity Monitor.
Using Activity Monitor
There are a few ways you can go about loading this application. You can find it under the Applications then Utilities of your computer's Finder. You can also click the search option in the upper-right corner and then type in "Activity Monitor." Once you load the application, it will show you all the files, prompts, and processes running on your computer. It will show the amount of resources each file is using. This includes the memory, processing power, and whether the files are sending out information to other receivers using the Internet.
If you want to stop a file from running just CTRL-click the file, then choose to force quit the file. The file will then be stopped and it will no longer appear on the activity monitor.
When it comes to how to show hidden files Mac has running there are a number of ways you can go about doing this. You can look up the files within the Activity Monitor, or you can launch Terminal to see what is going on. It realistically depends on the kind of file, the kind of application, and what the files are doing, but you always have a way to see what is going on behind the scenes of your computer.