Software & Apps Linux How to Show Hidden Files and Folders Within Ubuntu Hiding and showing certain files makes for a more tidy browsing session Share Pin Email Print Linux Switching from Windows By Juergen Haas Writer Former Lifewire writer Juergen Haas is a software developer, data scientist, and a fan of the Linux operating system. our editorial process Juergen Haas Updated January 31, 2020 Linux, by default, hides files from view—even if you have access to them—if the filename begins with a period. This visual suppression doesn't encrypt the file or make them inaccessible. Instead, it just doesn't list them unless you explicitly request that they be listed. Because of this hide-by-default nature, many configuration files begin their names with a period. Showing Hidden Files In your graphical file manager, use the file manager's options to reveal hidden content. Most file managers accept the Ctrl+H hotkey to toggle hidden-file display on and off, whereas each file manager uses different buttons and menu commands to toggle the display using the mouse. In a shell session, modify the ls command with the -a flag: ls -a to display hidden files. Hiding Files To hide a file, rename it so that the first character of the filename is a period. This approach offers aesthetic convenience only; do not use this method as a surrogate for proper file security. 4 Methods to Encrypt, Decrypt or Password Protect Files in Linux In Linux, because any system object is a file, this dot-name approach works with folders, too.