How to access hidden Library folder on Mac OS X Lion

The ~/Library folder is hidden in Finder by default in Mac OS X. Library folder is used by apps to store app related data and is not meant for end users to access. This is Apple’s way of locking down folder to protect users from modifying or deleting any files or folders under ~/Library.

Sometimes, you might be required access to the Library folder in order to troubleshoot issues. Care must be given when you’re accessing the Library folder, or else your Mac or apps might not work properly.

Access using Option key

To access the ~/Library folder, hold down the Option key while looking at the Go menu in Finder.


Access using “Go to Folder”

An alternative is to select the option “Go to Folder” under the Go menu or using the shortcut keys Command+Shift+G. Enter “~/Library” under the “Go to the folder” prompt.

Permanently make the ~/Library folder visible in Finder

Open Terminal app under Applications>Utilities. On the command line, enter the following to permanently display Library folder under Finder:

chflags nohidden ~/Library/

To hide the Library folder, enter the command:

chflags hidden ~/Library/

Access via Terminal app

Using Terminal app, you can easily access ~/Library folder using the “cd” command line. You can also open Library folder under Finder window by using the command line “open ~/Library”.

Finder button to reveal or collapse sidebar and toolbar


When you mount a DMG file for example when installing an app, the default style of Finder window displayed is one without the sidebar and toolbar as shown above. You can easily show the sidebar and toolbar by clicking on the button on the top right corner of the Finder window.

You can hide or display the sidebar or toolbar individually from the Finder View menu. The inconspicuous top-right button allows you to hide or show both sidebar and toolbar together with a click. Hiding both sidebar and toolbar makes the Finder window much cleaner to work with.