Sherlock, Sherlock 2: Finding Invisible Files or Folders

This article tells how to use Sherlock or Sherlock 2 to find invisible files or folders.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Sherlock is a part of Mac OS 8.5 and 8.6. Sherlock 2 is a part of Mac OS 9.

As the name implies, invisible files and folders are those that cannot be seen in the Finder, whether they reside on the desktop or in a window. Invisible files and folders have an internal flag set that tells the Finder not to display them.

Important: A file or folder is typically invisible for a reason. Deleting or modifying one of them may cause unpredictable results. Unless you know the outcome of your modification, you should not make changes to an invisible file or folder.

Sherlock: Finding Invisible Files or Folders

Step 1

Open Sherlock.

Step 2

Click the Find File tab within the Sherlock window.

Step 3

Choose the volume(s) you wish to search from the Find Items pop-up menu.

Step 4

While holding down the Option key, click the leftmost Search Criteria pop-up menu. The pop-up menu contains four additional search criteria at the bottom of the menu. (See Figure 1.) Choose Visibility and release the Option key. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 1 Additional search criteria

Figure 2 Visibility search criteria

Step 5

Click Find .

Sherlock 2: Finding Invisible Files or Folders

Step 1

Open Sherlock 2.

Step 2

Click the Files channel. (See Figure 3).

Figure 3 Files channel

Step 3

Enable custom searching by clicking the Custom radio button and then clicking Edit (See Figure 4). The More Search Options window opens.

Figure 4 Custom search criteria

Step 4

Click the checkbox to enable the "is Invisible" option. (See Figure 5.)

Figure 5 Advanced options

Step 5

Click OK.

For more information on deleting invisible files and folders found by Sherlock and Sherlock 2, please see article 30726: "Sherlock, Sherlock 2: Deleting Invisible Files and Folders"

For information on how to find invisible files and folders with system software prior to Mac OS 8.5, please see article 16989: "System 7.5-Mac OS 8.1: Additional Find File Search Options"

Published Date: Feb 20, 2012