How to View and Access the “Library” Folder in OS X

How To View Your Account's ~/Library Folder in OS X

On your Mac there is a Library folder present inside your Home Folder. For those who are a bit familiar with code, this Library folder is written as ~/Library, which stands for a folder named as Library in the root level of your account’s home folder. This folder actually contains all your personal settings, some application files and also some of your data.

As with all program files of the type, Apple meant for the Library folder to be left alone, but if you’ve been using your Mac for quite a while now, and have needed to delete an application preference file or have grabbed a log to send to a developer, you may have already accessed this folder.

Up to OS X 10.7 Lion, accessing the Library folder was quite simple; all you needed to do is navigate to your Home folder, and from there you could access the Library folder. But from OS X 10.8 onwards, Apple has hidden the Library folder, meaning it won’t show up in your Home folder anymore.

While Apple is somewhat right in its motives to hide the ~/Library folder, a normal user can have plenty of reasons to access the folder, and with Apple’s work of making the folder “invisible,” many can get confused regarding this. Luckily, Apple has only hidden the folder, and we’ll be telling you how to make the folder visible again.

Making the ~/Library Folder Visible in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

In OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion you can access the aforementioned folder using Finder using the following steps.

1. Open up a new Finder Window, and from the Go menu, select Go to Folder (also accessible by pressing “Command + Shift + G”).


2. In the window that opens, simply type in “~/Library,” without the inverted commas of course, and press Enter.


The folder will automatically open up in front of you.


You can also use Terminal to access the folder.

1. Open Terminal, either from the OS X Spotlight or by navigating to “Applications -> Utilities.”

2. On Terminal, type open ~/Library and press Enter which will open up the folder in Finder.



Making the Folder Visible in OS X 10.9 Mavericks and Later

If you’re using OS X 10.9 Mavericks or OS X 10.10 Yosemite, you can use both methods detailed above in addition to another easy one:

1. Open your Home Folder in Finder. If you don’t know how to do that, simply choose Home from Finder’s Go menu located in the top menu bar (Go -> Home) or simply press “Command + Shift + H” on your keyboard.


Right click (secondary click) in any blank area and select “Show View Options.” You can also access this by selecting Show View Options in the View menu or by simply pressing “Command + J” on your keyboard.



In the second to last section, the last option will be “Show Library Folder.” Make sure this box is checked. Once it is, you’ll see the Library folder immediately.



In OS X Mavericks/Yosemite or later, you can use this setting at any time to make the folder visible. You will need to use it after some interval, as usual updates should make the folder invisible again.

Again, remember that before you start editing the contents of this folder, you need to make sure you know what you’re doing! Deleting or moving the wrong file(s) inside this folder could cause an application to misbehave, to lose its settings, or even to lose data.

Did the methods detailed above work for you? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Shujaa Imran
Shujaa Imran

Shujaa Imran is MakeTechEasier's resident Mac tutorial writer. He's currently training to follow his other passion become a commercial pilot. You can check his content out on Youtube

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