Your Mac has a secret. Thousands of them in fact, in the form of hidden files and folders lurking on its hard drive or SSD. Don’t worry, though. These files and folders are all supposed to be there. In fact, many of them are essential.
If youwant the file to open in an application other than the one in which it normallyopens when you double-click it in the Finder, this method is one way to do so.The Open dialog box in Microsoft Word, with the From pop-up menu visible.Show pop-up menu. Some documents can be opened in several applications. Just clickOpen, and the document opens. Why do this instead of simply double-clicking thefile in the Finder?
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Many of these files are in your Mac’s main Library folder or in the ~/Library folder, which is in your User folder. Both these Library folders are hidden, but inside them are folders and files that hold things like preferences for apps.
In this article, we’ll tell you how you can view hidden files on your Mac and make your Library folder visible.
What are the hidden files on Mac?
May 01, 2019 Alternatively, you can try this method: Open a Finder window. Select Go - Go to Folder. In the menu bar. Type /Library in the input field and click Go. Jan 12, 2020 You can access the hidden Library folder without using Terminal, which has the side effect of revealing every hidden file on your Mac. This method will only make the Library folder visible, and only for as long as you keep the Finder window for the Library folder open. The space is most likely being occupied by the various files and folders in /Library, which is hidden by default on OS X. You can show the Library folder by navigating to your home folder in Finder, pressing ⌘J and showing the Library folder. Dec 30, 2016 While many Mac users may never need to access their User Library folder while running macOS Sierra — some advanced users, may need to get in there and access support data and such when troubleshooting. The folder is hidden by default in macOS Sierra, but it only take a few moments to access it, or make it so that the folder is always visible.
Jun 10, 2015 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.
The hidden files are a throwback to macOS’ Unix roots. In fact, the convention of naming them starting with a “.” comes from Unix. For that reason, you can’t use a “.” at the start of a regular file name, otherwise OS X will hide it.
The files themselves contain data like access rights and privileges for files and folders, application support files, and preferences.
There are a number of reasons files and folders are hidden. Mostly, though, it’s because they contain data critical to the smooth running of your Mac and that you shouldn’t interfere with. In addition, there’s no real reason for most users to see or access them. Also, if they were all visible, your Mac would look horribly cluttered.
How to view hidden files on Mac
Before you make your Mac show hidden files, it’s important to remember they’ve been hidden for a reason. The data they contain could cause havoc if you delete or alter it and don’t know what you’re doing.
If your goal in viewing, for example ~/Library is so you can manually delete application support files for a program you’ve uninstalled, consider using a dedicated uninstaller like CleanMyMac X. That will make it easy to remove all the files associated with an application with one click. You can download CleanMyMac X for free here.
CleanMyMac X will also allow you to get rid of all the hidden files you no longer need. Many of these files are created and used then not needed anymore. They just sit there clogging up your hard drive. CleanMyMac X scans your Mac, identifies this system junk and allows you to quickly and easily get rid of it, potentially several gigabytes of disk space.
If you still want to view hidden files on your Mac, you need to go to the Finder and do the following:
- Open a new Finder window and click on the name of your Mac under ‘Devices’ in the sidebar.
- Click on Macintosh HD, or whatever you’ve called your startup drive if you’ve renamed it.
- Press Command-Shift-. (period). You should now see lots of files and folders who’s name starts with “.” become visible.
- To re-hide the files and folders, hold down Command-Shift-. again.
How to view your Mac’s ~/Library folder
There are a couple of methods for making your ~/Library folder visible. Here’s the simplest:
- Click on the Finder in the Dock.
- Open a new Finder window and navigate to your user folder (Tip: if it’s not in the sidebar, go to the Finder menu, choose Preferences, click Sidebar and check the box next to your Home folder)
- Click on the Go menu.
- Hold down the Option (Alt) key.
- You should see that in the dropdown menu, Library appears below Home. Click on it.
Alternatively, do this to view your Library folder:
- Click on the Finder in the Dock.
- Click on the Go menu and choose Go to Folder.
- In the window that opens, type “~/Library”
With both these methods, your Library folder will disappear again when you close the Finder window. It’s easy enough to run through the steps above again to make it visible again when you need to, but if you want it permanently accessible, there are a couple of ways to do it.
The quickest is to drag the Library folder to the Finder’s sidebar. That will create a shortcut to it that will persist. If you want to keep ~/Library visible but don’t want it clogging up the sidebar in Finder windows, do this:
Mac Os Library Folder Not Visible File
- Click on the Finder in the Dock.
- Click on the View menu and choose Show View Options.
- Check the box labelled Show Library Folder at the bottom of the window.
How to make macOS show hidden files using Terminal
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can use the Terminal command line interface to view hidden files and folders. Here’s how to do it:
- Open Terminal from the Utilities folder in Applications, or by searching for it using Spotlight. You can also use the Go menu in the Finder to go directly to the Utilities folder.
- Type, or copy and paste, this command: defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles true
- Press Return
- Type: killall Finder
To hide the files again, repeat the above steps, but replace ‘true’ with ‘false’ at the end of step 2.
How to hide any file or folder using Terminal
Library Folder Mac
Now that you know how to view hidden files and folders on your Mac, you may be wondering how you can hide other files or folders, to keep them away from prying eyes. There are a number of third-party applications and utilities that offer to do this for you, but you can do it yourself in Terminal, like this:
- Launch Terminal.
- Type: chflags hidden
- Press the spacebar.
- Drag the file or folder you want to hide from the Finder onto the Terminal window.
- You’ll see the path to the file or folder displayed in Terminal after the command you typed.
- Hit Return to execute the command.
The file or folder you dragged onto the Terminal window will now be hidden. To see it again, use one of the methods described above to see hidden files.
Mar 18, 2020 Move your Photos library to an external storage device. In the Finder, go to the external drive where you want to store your library. In another Finder window, find your library. The default location is Users username Pictures, and it's named Photos Library. Drag your library to. Jul 12, 2017 Click “Use as System Photo Library” to convert the new library and enable the iCloud features. Now, if you click on the iCloud tab, you should see that your stuff is syncing and will be restored to your new Photo Library as soon as it’s downloaded, while anything you add will be uploaded. Create new photo library mac. Jan 29, 2015 It can be a USB flash drive or a portable backup disk if you want and that’s it. Cool Tip: If you want to transfer your iPhoto Library to another Mac just plug your drive to it and copy your iPhoto library backup to the target Mac’s Pictures folder. Be warned though, this will replace your existing iPhoto library.
To make the file visible permanently again, use the steps above, but in step 2 type: chflags nohidden
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As you can see, viewing hidden files and folders on your Mac is very straightforward. There are a number of ways to do it, and you can make them visible temporarily or permanently.
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However, just because you can view hidden files, doesn’t mean you should — the files are usually hidden because accidentally deleting them or altering them could cause chaos on your Mac. So, while it’s fine to have a peek, don’t do anything with the hidden files unless you know what you’re doing.
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If you want to declutter your Mac or uninstall applications, use a dedicated application like CleanMyMac X. It will safely remove all useless files, add-ons, broken login items, caches, large and old files you didn't know about. Most likely, you won't even need to look for hidden files — CleanMyMac will do all the job for you.
We also showed that many of those files are stored in Library folders, including the one in your User folder, ~/Library. That folder is hidden by default, but you can view it or make it permanently visible using the techniques described above.