The Mac OS, like many other operating systems, embraces the concept of invisible files. Files are usually invisible for a good reason, in that they were never meant to be accessed by the user. But there are times when things may go awry, and you'd like to clear out some of these files and start fresh. Or you may just be nosy. Ghost Hunter can help.
Once you start Ghost Hunter, you'll be presented with a dialog that will let you select the drive you'd like to scan. Double-click on the drive, and Ghost Hunter will do its thing. Once it is done, you'll see a directory listing of the drive. A 'Kind' column in the listing will show if any files at this level are invisible.
The Results of a Search Shows Invisible Files and Folders
(click for detail)
You can do several things from this window. A double-click on a folder will reveal files in that folder. Double-clicking on a file will reveal an info window, showing such statistics as the file name, size, creation date and modification date. There is a checkbox for the visible/invisible state of the file.
Detailed File Information
(click for detail)
Back to the search result window, it also has Up, Root, Delete, Visible and Refresh buttons. The Up and Root buttons are for navigation. The Delete button will delete a file (be careful!) and the Visible button will toggle the visibility of the file or folder. Could be useful for keeping certain files or folders away from causal inspection. The Refresh button will update the window contents in case files or volumes have been added or deleted. Finally, there is a checkbox to Show Visible Files. This option can really slow down scanning time, but will offer the opportunity to make visible files invisible.
To clear out unwanted or unused invisible files, or to find out exactly what files are invisible, be sure to give Ghost Hunter a shot.
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John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at