How To Open Your Library Folder In OS 10.7 Lion

A lot of the changes Apple made in Mac OS 10.7 Lion have had to do with making the overall experience easier for computer newbies — Launchpad makes it so you don’t have to find and use the Applications folder, “All My Files” hides the file system and just shows you documents you may need, and it’s now possible to use your Mac without ever diving into the root folder of your hard drive.

One of the changes, however, might impact you if you are a power user and need to access certain things on your Mac that Apple thinks are too complicated for you. One of these things is the Library folder, a folder that’s on your hard drive’s root as well as in your user folder. The Library folder contains application preferences, settings, screen savers, widgets, and a lot of other stuff that you don’t need to pay attention to most of the time, but there might be a time when you need to access it. But how can you access it if Apple hid it? Luckily, there is a way.

Where'd the Library folder go?

First, Apple has only hidden the Library folder in your user folder, not the one on your hard drive root. So if you need to change something that affects all users, you are good to go. But a lot of apps have user-specific settings, and those will only be stored in your user account’s library. Here’s how to access it:


Click on the Finder icon in your dock to make sure that the Finder is the topmost app and you can see its menu options.

Click the Go menu from the menu bar at the top of the screen, and you’ll see a list of possible destinations to open.

Hold down the Option key on your Mac’s keyboard, and you should now see Library as a destination, in between the Home and Computer folders. Just click the Library option and your library folder will pop open, and you can modify it as you please.

Keep in mind that unless you have a specific reason to be in this folder, you shouldn’t go around messing with the files here. These are files that keep your apps running smoothly and save your settings, so randomly deleting things could be disastrous.  That’s probably why Apple hid it in the first place, but its good to know there is still a way to get in there.

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  • Sheridan

    No, I am not willing to pay for things I feel should be or were free in the past.  Selling software on the internet has led to some companies releasing software prematurely, without proper testing, to make a quick buck.  Remember Norton’s (now Symantec)  Utilities first release for Windows didn’t even run on most machines and then they charged for Version 2?  Then Novel’s network release with a virus!  On the support side, telephone support used to be super for WordPerfect, now with many software companies you just wait on the line for some idiot reading a pre-scripted document. 

  • Tassos K.

    Great! Thanks for the tip :)