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Downloading .htaccess files to mac desktop (7 posts)

  • Started 8 years ago by Enzo
  • Latest reply 7 years ago from Jay
  • Enzo Member

    I am attempting to manually download my entire site from my server. Indeed fetch show that the site has a number of .htaccess files. However, when I download site to my desktop via fetch all .htaccess files are nowhere to be found.

    I understand Mac makes all files beginning with . (dot) invisible. But how is one to deal with this? How can I have a complete copy of my website on my desktop? Can fetch help in any way? Is there a way around the problem? Clearly I'm a rooky, but able to follow instructions.

    Can anyone tell me how I can have a complete copy of my website on my apple desktop?

    Posted 8 years ago #

  • Scott McGuire Administrator


    As you may realize, the .htaccess files have actually been downloaded to your Mac, and are in the same folders they were on the server - it's just that the Mac OS X Finder doesn't show them to you. So you do have a complete copy of the website on your Mac, it's just difficult to see some of the files.

    Making them visible in the Finder on your Mac isn't something Fetch can do for you. However, Fetch will upload them again if you upload one of the folders containing them, even though you cannot see them in the Finder; and if you use Fetch's Put command, you can make the .htaccess files appear in the list of files to upload by checking the "Show hidden files" checkbox in the Put dialog.

    If you want to edit the .htaccess files while they're on the Mac, some text editors have options for letting you open hidden files. For instance, both TextWrangler (a free text editor) and its sibling (not free) BBEdit have "Show hidden items" in their open dialogs that let you open .htaccess files (and other "dot" files) for editing.

    There are ways to force your Mac to always display all files that begin with periods, by either typing commands in the command line or with the help of a third-party program. You should do a web search for information on how to do that; we don't endorse a particular solution. But note that all these solutions will show you many other files whose names being with periods that you shouldn't fiddle with in addition to the .htaccess files, so the cure may be worse than the problem.

    I hope this helps.


    Scott McGuire
    Fetch Softworks

    Posted 8 years ago #

  • Enzo Member

    Thank you. Your reply was helpful.

    I have a further question:

    As I understood, although the .htaccess files are invisible on my mac desktop, they're there nonetheless. Hence, can I assume that all .htaccess files will immediately become visible once I transfer my website folder from my mac desktop to a windows desktop?

    In other words, in regards to a different scenario, can I transfer my website from my mac desktop to the server of my newly acquired web-developer who will then re-constitute the entire site for development purposes? Will the developer be able to reconstitute the website?

    Again thanks for your courteous help


    Posted 8 years ago #

  • Scott McGuire Administrator

    Hi Enzo,

    You're welcome.

    My answer is a qualified "yes." Assuming whatever you use to transfer the folders from your Mac Desktop to a Windows desktop doesn't ignore dot files for some reason, and Windows is not set to ignore dot files, they should be visible on the Windows desktop. Most methods of transferring them shouldn't ignore them, though.

    So yes, in theory you should be copy the downloaded copy of your website from your Mac to a Windows computer and your web developer should have a complete website to work on. I say in theory, because this is not a scenario I have tried myself.

    Another alternative, of course, is to download the website contents directly to the Windows computer.


    Scott McGuire
    Fetch Softworks

    Edited 8 years ago #

  • cooper Member


    This is related but kind of a side-shoot to invisible files.

    I hvae the "do not upload dot items in folders" checked.

    The Website info says Fetch will not upload DS_store files regardless of the above option being checked or not.

    Which is fine w/ me.

    However - Why can I NOT get Fetch to display .htaccess files already on the server?

    Posted 7 years ago #

  • Scott McGuire Administrator

    Hi cooper,

    The "do not upload dot items in folders" preference does not affect whether Fetch shows you .htaccess files that are already on the server. However, if you have it checked, Fetch will not upload .htaccess files inside folders on your Mac to the server.

    Fetch does have different preferences that affect whether you see dot files in the list of files on the server. By default, Fetch is set to show them, however, perhaps one of your preferences has gotten changed from the default.

    The first thing to check is:

    * Open the Fetch Preferences.
    * Click the Miscellaneous tab.
    * Uncheck the "Omit filenames beginning with a period" checkbox if it is checked.
    * If you unchecked it, connect to the server and go to the folder containing the .htaccess file.
    * Go to the View menu, and choose Refresh.

    Do you see the .htaccess file now? If not, let us know and we'll investigate further.


    Scott McGuire
    Fetch Softworks

    Posted 7 years ago #

  • Jay Member

    I ran into the same issue backing up a WordPress site. I could see the .htaccess file in fetch (enable in preferences) and when i downloaded it to a folder my desktop it said "completed", but of course my Mac wont show me the file because of the "." in front of the file.

    Rest assure that the file is there, just hidden. So how do we see this file on a mac?

    My solution:
    I opened up Dreamweaver and went to "Manage Site" and created a new project and pointed it at the folder on my desktop. Dreamweaver allows you to see .htaccess files, and I confirmed that they did in fact download into the folder on my desktop.

    Hope this helps, Cheers.

    Posted 7 years ago #


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