How to Hide and Unhide Files / Folders with Ubuntu Desktop

Whether you’re using Ubuntu 16.04 / 17.10 or 18.04, you can easily hide and unhide files and folders using the file manager. This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to do that easily on Ubuntu desktop.

Ubuntu Files file manager gives you the ability to hide and unhide files at will. When a file is hidden, it is hidden from the file manager normal views, but it is still there in its folder. You won’t be able to see the file just by browsing the folder. this a great in that important files are kept out of plain sight.

If you want to see all hidden files in a folder, go to that folder and either click the view options button in the toolbar and pick Show Hidden Files, or press Ctrl+H.

Step 1: Creating Hidden Files

When using Ubuntu desktop, by default not all files are displayed when the normal file manager view. Some files are hidden while others are not. If you want to hide a file from plain view, follow the simple steps below. This method should work on current and future versions of Ubuntu.

To hide a file, simply it with a dot . at the beginning of its name. For example, to hide a file named example.txt, you should rename it to .example.txt

ubuntu show hidden files

You can hide folders in the same way that you can hide files. Hide a folder by placing a dot . at the beginning of the folder’s name. To hide a folder called myFolder, simply add a dot . before the folder name like .myFolder

This is how to hide files and folders on Ubuntu.

Step 2: Show Hidden Files

To show all hidden files and folder in Ubuntu File Manager, simply press the press Ctrl+H on your keyboard. Press again, to not show hidden files.

That should display all hidden files.

To permanently unhide files and folder, go to the folder containing the hidden file and click the view options button in the toolbar and pick Show Hidden Files.

show hidden files ubuntu

Then, find the hidden file and rename it so that it does not have a dot . in front of its name. For example, to unhide a file called .example.txt, simply rename it to example.txt.

This should now how the file in Ubuntu File Manager normal view

hile ubuntu files

That’s it!

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  1. what to do if you have to unhide a bunch of files together? This is a cumbersome method of doing it

  2. For developer like me, I would like to have option to ‘Always Show Hidden Files’, thus, I don’t need to press anything to view the hidden files, but other user may not see the hidden file.

  3. Ok that was a great tutorial.
    but i have got a problem with my files and desktops.
    they are visible on filesystem “home–>Desktop” but they are hidden on a Desktop GUI ( the first page when i logged in to my PC)

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