In recent releases of macOS (since macOS / 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.

Show the Library folder using the Terminal

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 macOS or your permissions become misconfigured).

Show the Library folder using View Options

If you don’t feel comfortable running a command in the Terminal, you can also show the Library folder by adjusting your View Options for the Finder. The first thing you need to do is open a Finder window and navigate to your user’s home directory. Mine is called “jeff” — it’s the one with the house icon next to it in the Finder sidebar.

Finder window with home folder

Next, in the Mac menu bar, click View, then look for Show View Options, and click that.

Show view options Finder

After you have clicked on Show View Options, another dialog box will appear, at the bottom you will see an option with a checkbox to Show Library Folder, check that box and the Library folder will now appear within your home folder.

Show Library folder in macOS
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  • 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 -> and type “open ~/Library”, or even simply “open library” instead.

  • 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!

  • 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:

    Video is also available there.

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