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How To: Show the Library Folder in OS X Lion

In Apple’s latest release of OS X (Lion), the Library folder is hidden and not accessible by default.  For some reason (probably to keep users from causing problems by deleting necessary files) Apple decided to hide it, but what about power users?  How do you access the Library folder on Lion if it’s hidden?  Well, thankfully, there is an easy way to tell Lion to show the Library folder.

In order to tell Lion to show the Library folder all the time you will need to open the Terminal and execute a specific command.  To open the Terminal, click the Applications folder, find the folder called Utilities, open it, and in there you will see the icon for the Terminal application.  Launch the application and type in the following exactly as you see it below and then hit the Enter key:

chflags nohidden ~/Library

That’s it – it’s that simple. Now you will have access to the Library folder.  I should also note that you only have to use this command once – it should keep the Library folder shown from now on (unless you reinstall Lion or your permissions become messed up).

— Jeff Weisbein

Jeff is the founder & CEO of BestTechie. He has over 10 years of experience working with technology and building businesses. He loves to travel and listen to music.

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  • Mike Mansell


    If you’re simply looking to open the Library folder one time without showing it inside of your home folder, you can pop open a terminal (type “Terminal” in Spotlight or access it throgh Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal.app) and type “open ~/Library”, or even simply “open library” instead.

  • Jeff Weisbein


    Thanks for the additional tip Mike!

  • Neil Jones


    Easy way to access ~/Library is from the ‘Go’ drop-down on the Finder toolbar, just like all the Pre-Lion OS’s. Yes, it’s hidden to start with, but if you press the Option key while the drop-down is showing, it’s there.  I appreciate that it’s a one-time fix and not the permanent fix that you’re offering in this post, but to be honest it’s that quick and easy that I’m not sure it even needs a permanent fix.  YMMV!

  • Nektony


    Try Funter.
    Funter is a freeware Mac utility that can show and hide hidden and system files in Mac OS X, .including  the user’s Library directory defaults to hiding on Mac OS X 10.7.
    You can download it here:
     http://nektony.com/funter

    Video is also available there.

  • Anonymous


    wthats the command to hide if we want it