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Do you like to be organized? Well for me that is a rhetorical question. I don’t like files on my computer that aren’t useful to me. I found a simple way to make any file, folder, or application invisible using a Terminal command. Beforehand, you will need to have the Developer Tools installed (included with the Mac OS X Installer discs).

  1. Once you have loaded Mac OS X Installer Disc 1, look for the Xcode Tools folder.
  2. Double click on it. In the new window, double click on the XcodeTools.mpkg file.
  3. This will install the Developer Tools. Once done installing, open up Terminal.
  4. In Terminal, type in /Developer/Tools/SetFile -a V
  5. Drag the file or folder into Terminal with a space after the V and hit the Return key.
  6. Type in killall Finder, then hit the Return key.
  7. The file should now be hidden.
  8. After you have hidden your file, you may want to have access to the hidden files again.
  9. To view hidden files, open up Terminal and type in:
    defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE and hit the Return key.
  10. Type in killall Finder, then hit the Return key.
  11. To show the hidden files follow step 9 and 6, except replace TRUE with FALSE.
  12. To un-hide the folder, file or application, you must first follow steps 4-9. Then, in Terminal just type  /Developer/Tools/SetFile -a v (drag the file here), hit the Return key.
  13. Then type killall Finder and hit the Return key.

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Novice Mac users sometimes don’t quite realize the importance of maintaining your Mac. Not only are you extending the longevity of it, you are preventing potential problems (e.g. faulty .plist files, incorrect permissions, etc). Thankfully, Santa Software has released MainMenu, which stays up in your menubar, so you won’t forget to perform maintenance on your Mac. It runs all of the usual tasks and some more advanced ones as well. With other maintenance applications like OnyX you have to open the application and choose which maintenance options you would like to perform. With MainMenu, everything is in one clean simple-to-use interface right up in the menubar for easy access.