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How to permanently unhide the User Library folder on macOS

macOS has two different types of Library folders. One is the system library folder which you really shouldn’t mess with unless you know what you’re doing. The other is the user Library folder and again, you really shouldn’t mess with it but doing so is less damaging than messing with the system Library folder. In both cases, since the folder is an important one, it is hidden. You can view it by opting to show hidden files and folders on macOS, or you can permanently unhide the user Library folder. Here’s how.

Unhide User Library folder

This method is for Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, and Sierra. Older versions of macOS require a Terminal command to be run in order to permanently unhide the user Library folder. On newer macOS versions, it is much easier to permanently unhide it however, that doesn’t mean making changes to the contents of this folder is something to be taken lightly. Practice caution.

Open Finder and navigate to your User folder. Do not minimize Finder or navigate away from this folder. Go to View>Show View Options. Again, it is important that the Finder window with your user folder open in it remains active and at the front or the View Options will change to generic ones for Finder.

In the window that opens, enable the ‘Show Library Folder’ option. Once you do, the Library folder will appear as an ordinary folder in your User folder.

The benefit of using this option instead of opting to show hidden files and folders on macOS is that when you do so, many junk files that don’t have any function for an ordinary user also become visible. They’re harmless but they add clutter to an otherwise organized folder.

You can hide the library folder again just as easily. Visit the User profile folder, and disable the ‘Show Library Folder’  option.

This is a per-user setting which means if you share a Mac with other users, the Library folder will only be unhidden for your user, and not for others. The option doesn’t require admin rights to be applied.

For macOS versions older than Sierra, open Terminal and run the command below to unhide the user Library folder.

chflags nohidden ~/Library/

If you want to hide it again, you need to again open Terminal, and then run the command below.

chflags hidden ~/Library/

While not necessary, if running the command doesn’t work right away, run the following command and it should do the job.

killall Dock

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