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In the MacOS, the Library folder is used to store user account settings, preferences files, application support files, caches, and other important data that keep your Mac running smoothly.
Random changes to the library folder can damage your system, which is why Apple hides the default folder. However, sometimes troubleshooting solutions require that you have access to the library folder. Read the following to learn how to view it on your Mac.
Why is the library folder hidden?
Apple keeps the library folder hidden to protect users from accidentally deleting or modifying important files stored there: application settings, caches, and other system files needed to run applications. Removing some files from the library folder can damage your system or the performance of some applications.
You should not remove files from the library if you do not understand what they are used for.
How to Temporary Access to the Hidden User Library
Use “Go To Folder” and Open ~/Library/ Directly
Simply press Command+Shift+G from the Mac desktop (or Finder > Go > Go to Folder) and type ~/Library to temporarily access the library directory in the Finder. When you’re done, close this window and it will no longer be visible.
Press and hold the option and use the “Go” menu to display the library
When you hold down the option key, the “Library” folder appears as an option in the “Finder” menu. The other advantage of the Go menu is that after accessing ~/Library several times, it appears in the “Recent Folders” submenu, so that it can be easily accessed several times.
A keyboard shortcut that displays hidden files
If you are browsing the home folder of your user account in the Finder and the library is hidden, press Command+Shift+. (that’s a dot) on the keyboard. All files hidden in the folder appear as transparent icons, including the Library folder.
- From there, you can double-click the library folder icon to open it.
- To hide the library folder again, just press Command+Shift+. and the hidden files will disappear as quickly as they came.
Making the Library Permanently Visible
Apple hides the library folder by setting a file system flag associated with the folder. You can enable the visibility flag for any folder on your Mac; Apple has just decided to disable the visibility flag for the library folder by default. Learn how to change it here.
- Start Terminal, located in /Applications/Utilities.
- Type the following command at the terminal prompt :
- Press Return.
- When the command is executed, you can exit the Terminal. The library folder is now visible in the Finder.
- If you want to restore the Library folder to its hidden default state under OS X or MacOS, start Terminal and enter the following Terminal command
- Press Back.
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I am a computer enthusiast and a practicing IT Professional. I have years of experience behind me in computer programming, hardware troubleshooting and repair. I specialise in Web Development and Database Design. I also have a CCNA certification for Network Design and Troubleshooting.