In the world of Ubuntu, hidden files or folders usually start with a dot (.) and are often referred to as dot files. These files are typically configuration files for various applications and services, and are hidden by default to prevent accidental modifications or deletions. However, there may be times when you need to view or edit these files. In this article, we will guide you on how to show or hide these hidden files in the Ubuntu Graphical User Interface (GUI).
To show or hide hidden files in the Ubuntu GUI, you can use the keyboard shortcut
H in the file manager. Pressing this combination will toggle the visibility of hidden files and folders.
Accessing the File Manager
The first step in this process is to open the file manager. In Ubuntu, the default file manager is known as Nautilus, also known as ‘Files’. You can access it by clicking on the file cabinet icon on the Ubuntu dock, or by searching for ‘Files’ in the application menu.
Navigating to the Desired Directory
Once you have the file manager open, navigate to the directory where your hidden file or folder is located. For instance, if you’re looking for a hidden file in your home folder, you would click on ‘Home’ in the left-hand sidebar of the file manager.
Displaying Hidden Files
By default, hidden files and folders are not displayed in the file manager. To make them visible, you can use the keyboard shortcut
H. This command acts as a toggle switch, allowing you to show or hide hidden files and folders.
When you press
H, all hidden files and folders in the current directory will be displayed. They are usually represented in a slightly lighter color than regular files and folders, to indicate their hidden status.
Hiding Hidden Files
If you want to hide the hidden files and folders again, simply press
H once more. This will return the file manager to its default state, with hidden files and folders not displayed.
Alternative: Using Terminal
If you are more comfortable using the terminal, or if you need to automate this process in a script, you can use the
ls command with the
--all option. This command lists all files and folders in a directory, including hidden ones.
Here’s how you would use it:
ls -a ~/
In this command,
ls is the list command,
-a is the option to show all files, and
~/ is the path to your home directory. This command will display all files and folders in your home directory, including hidden ones.
Whether you’re troubleshooting an issue, editing configuration files, or just exploring your Ubuntu system, knowing how to show and hide hidden files in the Ubuntu GUI can be very useful. Remember, these files are hidden for a reason, so be careful when modifying them. Always make sure to back up any important data before making changes to these files.
By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can easily toggle the visibility of hidden files and folders in Ubuntu. Happy exploring!
To access the file manager in Ubuntu, you can click on the file cabinet icon on the Ubuntu dock or search for ‘Files’ in the application menu.
In the file manager, you can navigate to a specific directory by clicking on the corresponding folder in the left-hand sidebar.
To show hidden files in the Ubuntu GUI, you can use the keyboard shortcut
H. This will toggle the visibility of hidden files in the current directory.
To hide hidden files again in the Ubuntu GUI, simply press
H once more. This will return the file manager to its default state, with hidden files not displayed.
Yes, you can use the
ls command with the
--all option in the terminal to show hidden files. For example,
ls -a ~/ will display all files and folders in your home directory, including hidden ones.
Some files are hidden by default in Ubuntu to prevent accidental modifications or deletions. These hidden files are typically configuration files for various applications and services.
Modifying hidden files in Ubuntu should be done with caution. These files are hidden for a reason, and making incorrect changes can have unintended consequences. Always make sure to back up any important data before modifying hidden files.
To back up your important data in Ubuntu, you can use various methods such as copying files to an external storage device, using cloud storage services, or creating system backups using tools like Timeshift or Deja Dup.