Asya Karapetyan
Content marketer, who specializes in Mac how-to guides
August 15, 2023
7 minutes to read

Despite the fact that Apple keeps the Mac Library folder hidden from users, it’s good to learn how to show the Library folder on Mac. You may need to access the Library folder when you need to clear cache, remove the app’s leftovers, edit preference files manually, etc. In this article, we explain how to find user and system Library folders on Mac.

Mac Library folder

Contents:

  1. What is a Library folder on Mac?
  2. Why is the Library folder hidden?
  3. How to find Library folders on Mac.
  4. How to show Library folder on Mac with Terminal.
  5. How to show Library folder on Mac with Funter.
  6. How to show Library folder in Finder.

Before we start, watch a short video guide about how to make a Library folder visible on Mac.


What is a Library folder on Mac?

The Library folder in macOS is system folder which keeps important support files, such as user account settings, preference files, containers, application scripts, caches, cookies, fonts and other service files.
All these files help your Mac and applications to function smooth and fast. By default, Apple hides Library folders on Mac.
On Mac, you will find three Library folders. Each of them has a different root directory and keeps files of the following items:

  • /System/Library – it contains system-level files and resources that are essential for the operating system and built-in applications to function correctly. Modifying files in this folder can cause serious problems with your system.
  • /Library – it contains files and resources that are used by all apps installed on your Mac, as well as preferences and settings that are shared across all user accounts on the computer.
  • ~/Library. This folder, also known as the “User Library” and it contains files and resources that are specific to your user account.
Note: If you want to transfer files from Mac to your iPhone or iPad, you can use special third-party tools, like DearMob iPhone Manager, which can back up, transfer, sync, manage all important files between computer and iOS device.

Why is the Library folder hidden?

Apple keeps system Library invisible in order to protect users from accidental deletion or modification of important files stored there: application settings, caches and other system files needed to run the programs. Removal of some files in the system Library folder can damage your system or the performance of some apps.
You shouldn’t remove files from the Library if you don’t understand what they are used for.


How to find Library folder on Mac

Get to Library folder – Way 1

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Click Go in the menu bar and select Go to Folder. Or use the Cmd+Shift+G key shortcut.
  3. Menu Bar - Go to Folder option

  4. Type ~/Library and press Return (Enter) in the search panel.
  5. search field in Finder showing Library location

  6. The user Library folder will be shown.
  7. Library folder in Finder

If you want to open the system Library folder, repeat the same steps but navigate the following location: /Library (remove the ~ sign)

Open the Library folder – Way 2

Also, you can find the Library folder option right in the Finder menu bar. Here is how:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Click Go in the menu bar.
  3. Hold the Option key to reveal the Library option in the drop-down list.
  4. Select Library.
  5. Quick access to Library folder on Mac


How to show the hidden Library folder on Mac with Terminal

If you use El Capitan or earlier versions of macOS, you can show the system Library folder with Terminal:

  1. Open Terminal. You can find it using the Spotlight or run from Launchpad.
  2. Type in the window the following command:

 chflags nohidden ~/Library/

Terminal windiw

The Library will become visible in Finder. To hide it again enter this command:

chflags hidden ~/Library/

This approach is possible, but not recommended because it makes the Library folder invisible, so every time you preview your home folder you will see it.

Read in our previous article “Top 8 Useful Mac Terminal Commands.”


How to show Library folder with Funter

Funter is a free utility designed to show hidden files on Mac. You can use this app to quickly get access to the Library folder on Mac or view any other hidden items on your system.

  1. Download and launch Funter.
  2. In the top menu bar click the Funter icon.
  3. Switch on the google button to show hidden files.
  4. Funter app window

  5. Finder will be relaunched automatically and you will see the hidden Library folder. If you want to hide it again, switch off the toggle button in Funter.

Funter also integrates with Finder, so you can change file visibility directly from the Finder window.

Finder screenshots showing hidden Library folder

If you want to know more about hidden items, take a look at the article “3 ways to show hidden data on Mac.”
What is great with Funter is that the app allows you to easily find any hidden file and folder on your Mac. Just type the name of a file or folder, for example, “Library” in the search field and get the results:
Accessing library folder with Funter


How to show the Library folder in Finder?

If you need to access the Library folder quite often, you can add Library to Finder sidebar. Here is how:

  1. Open Finder and go to the Library folder.
  2. Drag the Library icon to the Finder’s sidebar.
  3. In this way Library will remain vivisble in the sidebar and you can open it with one click.
    Adding Library folder to Finder Favorites list

Conclusion

We shared several ways how to access hidden Library folder on your Mac. You can use a special free utility Funter to find and operate hidden folders and files on your Mac. But, once again, if you are a new Mac user and don`t know much about the architecture and functions of macOS, it is highly recommended that you be careful and not remove important files from the Library.



FAQ about the Library folder on Mac

Where can I find the user Library folder on Mac?
How do I unhide my Library on Mac?
What can I delete from my Library folder on Mac?
Is it safe to delete Library caches?

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