Software & Apps Linux How to Show Hidden Files and Folders Within Ubuntu Hiding and showing certain files makes for a more tidy browsing session 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 on March 16, 2020 Linux Switching from Windows Tweet Share Email Linux, by default, hides files from view—even if you have access to those files—if the filename begins with a period. This visual suppression doesn't encrypt the file or make it inaccessible. Instead, it doesn't list hidden files unless you explicitly request these files to be listed. Because of this hide-by-default nature, many configuration files have a period at the beginning of the filename. Show Hidden Files In your graphical file manager, use the file manager options to reveal hidden content. Most file managers accept the Ctrl+H hotkey to toggle the hidden-file display on and off. In addition, 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 to display hidden files: ls -a Hide Files To hide a file, rename it so that the first character of the filename is a period. This approach offers aesthetic convenience only. Don't 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 also works with folders.