I am using Emacs 27.1 (GNU Emacs 27.1 (build 1, x86_64-pc-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version 3.24.24, cairo version 1.16.0) of 2021-03-28, modified by Debian) with "default" dired mode. There are no settings or extra packages related to dired mode in my init.el.

By default I see hidden (dotted) files and folders. Can I toggle that with a key shortcut?

2 Answers 2


What is your value of option dired-listing-switches (press M-: and type dired-listing-switches)? Customize it to use a value that does not list hidden files. In other words, this is about the switches you tell Dired to use with ls.

You can also change the switches anytime, for a given Dired buffer, by invoking dired with a prefix arg (e.g. C-u).

For example, removing a from dired-listing-switches will likely do what you want: prevent listing files whose names start with ..

  • OK, it is `"-al" - I see. How do I use a "prefix arg"? This has no effect <kbd>C-u</kbd> <kbd>C-x</kbd> <kbd>f</kbd>.
    – buhtz
    Sep 19, 2021 at 19:31
  • 1
    After C-u, do M-x and type dired. It will ask you the options to use.
    – Renato
    Sep 19, 2021 at 19:48

Bind a key to dired-omit-mode (you may need to require dired-x first) and set dired-omit-files something like this:

(setq dired-omit-files
    (rx (or (seq bol (? ".") "#")     ;; emacs autosave files
        (seq bol "." (not (any "."))) ;; dot-files
        (seq "~" eol)                 ;; backup-files
        (seq bol "CVS" eol)           ;; CVS dirs
  • dired-omit-mode can hide files by name regexp match, or by file extension, so yes, you could use option dired-omit-files (a regexp) to have dired-omit-mode omit files whose names begin with ..
    – Drew
    Sep 19, 2021 at 22:09
  • @Drew: you are right. Have edited accordingly. Sep 20, 2021 at 10:22

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