How to Show to ~/Library Folder in MacOS Sierra

Dec 12, 2016 - 23 Comments

The user Library folder in MacOS

The User Library folder is hidden by default in MacOS Sierra, but some advanced users may wish to show and access the ~/Library/ folder, which contains preference files, caches, and application support data. We’ll show you how to access the User Library folder quickly, as well as how to set MacOS Sierra Finder to always show the User Library directory.


Because the users ~/Library folder contains important data and files for Mac user accounts and apps to function, it’s generally a good idea to leave the directory and its contents alone unless you have ea specific reason to dig around, and know exactly what you’re doing. Casual users have no business in the ~/Library directory. And remember, the system level /Library folder is different from the user level ~/Library.

Accessing User Library in MacOS Sierra

If you don’t need to constantly show the ~/Library folder on the Mac, you can just access it when needed by using the “Go” menu:

  1. From the Finder of Mac OS, pull down the “Go” menu and hold down the SHIFT key
  2. Choose “Library” from the drop down list

Access user Library folder in Mac OS

You can also hit Command+Shift+L from the MacOS Finder to immediately jump to the ~/Library directory of the active user account.

* Note that in older versions of MacOS and Sierra you need to hold down the OPTION key rather than the SHIFT key.

How to Show ~/Library Folder in MacOS Sierra

If you access user ~/Library often you might want to just enable it permanently as a visible folder in the user home directory. This is a simple settings change that will cause MacOS Finder to always show the Library folder in the user home:

  1. From the Mac OS Finder, go to the Users home folder
  2. Pull down the “View” menu and choose “View Options”
  3. Choose “Show Library Folder” in the settings options for the User home folder

Show the user Library folder in MacOS

This is specific to each user account on the Mac, so if you want to reveal the user account on a different account you’d need to re-enable the same setting individually.

Another option is to use the command line to reveal the ~/Library directory, like what was required in Lion when the directory first became invisible to the end user.

chflags nohidden ~/Library/

The above tricks also work to reveal and show the same user ~/Library folder in Mac OS X versions El Capitan and Yosemite .

Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:

Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

23 Comments

» Comments RSS Feed

  1. john stires says:

    Finder: Go>OPTION Key results in show Library NOT G0>SHIFT Key

  2. J.S. says:

    How about just using the “invisibliX.app.

  3. Martin says:

    how about:
    cd ~/Library

  4. How about just dragging the Library file (once displayed as above) to the favorites panel on the left of a finder window. That works for me.

  5. Floris says:

    You need to press the option-key to reveal the Library option in the Go-menu, the shift-key does nothing for me.

  6. Jake says:

    It’s option key in El Capitan to reveal Library option – shift key gives you “Select start-up disk on Desktop”.

  7. Randall King says:

    Shift doesn’t work for me. Option (Alt) works. That’s what I’ve always used. I’m on 10.12.1 using a Mac Pro and standard Apple keyboard (A1243).

  8. Sheryl says:

    This is weird. SHIFT seems to be working for some, and OPTION/ALT seems to be working for others.

    I have macOS Sierra and SHIFT did not work for me; I had to use OPTION/ALT.

    Thanks for the tip!

  9. Bill Turini says:

    Since the display method appears to be OS X version specific, such howtos should specify which version the author is writing for.

    • Tibbits says:

      Library is hidden for a while now, but “MacOS Sierra” is all over the article. Do you mean version number? 10.12.x is Sierra.

  10. H Patel says:

    it is OPTION key not SHIFT key that will show the library

  11. Tim Anderson says:

    I am running 10.12.2 (update installed just yesterday [14 Dec 2016]) and option/alt shows the Library.

  12. I would just like to confirm, with Sierra 10.2 the shift key did nothing and it was the alt/option key that worked (as with the previous OS’S).
    I have just updated my OS to Sierra 10.2.2 and nothing has changed. I have a UK English keyboard and unsure if this has anything to do with it or not…

  13. Nigel Arrighi says:

    I have 2 accounts on my iMac, when I am logged in in one it’s Shift on the other it Alt. I tried trashing Finder Prefs, no change, must be User related though.

Leave a Reply

 

Shop for Apple & Mac Deals on Amazon.com

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates