An important yet not well-known folder for Mac users is the Users Library folder, otherwise written as the ~/Library folder. This folder contains pivotal information such as preference files, caches, application support data, user account data, and more.
Due to the pertinent information present, it’s generally a safe bet to avoid searching for and playing around with the Users Library folder. However, if you’re an advanced user, a computer scientist, or just curious, there is a way to access this seemingly hidden folder. Just be sure you know what you’re doing, otherwise you might end up compromising sensitive data.
If you only need to access the ~/Library folder on your Mac for a short period of time, it’s best to navigate to the folder, without constantly keeping it shown. In other words, there is an option to keep the folder shown indefinitely. However, it’s recommended to only enable this option if you need to access the folder often. Follow the instructions below to learn how to access the folder,
Accessing the ~/Library Folder
1. Open Finder.
2. On the top menu bar, click on Go.
3. Hold the shift key. A drop-down menu will appear. Click Library. Note: If you don’t have the latest software, you may have to hold down the option key instead of the shift key.
Make the ~/Library Folder Shown
If you wish to access the ~/Library folder often, you might as well make it permanently visible in your user home directory. As a result, Finder will always show the ~/Library folder in your home directory. Follow the directions below to indefinitely reveal the ~/Library folder,
1. Open Finder. Press command + shift + H. This will open your Users home folder.
2. From the top menu bar, click on View.
3. A drop-down menu will appear. Scroll down and click Show View Options.
4. A window will pop up. This window shows the settings options for the Users home folder. Check the box for Show Library Folder in this window that popped up. Note: This option is specific to each user account on your computer. If you wish to enable showing the ~/Library folder for another account, you must log into that account and individually enable the option.
5. As a shortcut, you may now (after enabling Show Library Folder in step #4) also press command + shift + L from Finder and you will automatically be redirected to the ~/Library directory of the active user account.
Show the ~/Library Using Terminal
For tech-savvy users who enjoy using command line, there’s also an option to reveal the ~/Library from Terminal. Follow the steps below to reveal the folder from Terminal,
1. Open Terminal.
2. Type in the command chflags nohidden ~/Library/.
You have now revealed the once hidden folder. Bear in mind, that regardless of which method you use, tread carefully when handling this folder. This is because there is a large amount of sensitive data that you wouldn’t want to compromise or delete accidentally.