If you are working on a Mac and have an unfortunate run-in with a mistyped rm -r command, you may find yourself in need of restoring files, including those elusive dot files which don’t show up in the OS X Finder by default. If you’ve been using Time Machine to backup your data, doing restores is easy, but before you can restore hidden files, you have to tell the Finder to display them.

The following commands will do just that:

$ defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
$ killall Finder

After the Finder has restarted, you can go into Time Machine and restore hidden files to your heart’s content. When you’re done, if you want to turn display of hidden files back off (they do clutter up Finder windows and the Desktop), the reverse is intuitive:

$ defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
$ killall Finder