3 Aug

Missing Library folder in Mac OS X Lion


In your home folder, you notice that there is no longer a Library folder.


This is the default setting by design in Mac OS X Lion.


To get your Library folder back:

  1. Go to your Applications folder.
  2. Go to the Utilities folder.
  3. Double click on Terminal.
  4. Select all the text in the box below and press cmd + C to Copy.
    chflags nohidden ~/Library
  5. In the Terminal window press cmd + V or click Edit > Paste (on the top menu).
  6. Press Enter.

To revert back to the default setting change “nohidden” to “hidden” in Step 4.

  1. Go to your Home folder (cmd + shft + h).
  2. Go to the folder options (cmd + j).
  3. Tick option for “Show Library Folder”.
If you have previously used “chflags nohidden ~/Library” these changes are not reflected in the options

77 Responses to Missing Library folder in Mac OS X Lion

  1. thanks, works !

  2. Brilliant! Thanks.

  3. Thanks!!!

  4. Philip Thompson August 10, 2011 at 10:17

    Easy, simple solution to a very frustrating problem. Thankyou.

  5. A much simpler solution is to press the OPTION key when selecting the GO menu in the FINDER menu bar. No need to dive into the Terminal.

    • Yes that’s true. But then you have to do that every time you want to get to the folder. The solution above only needs to be done once.

  6. Jakob Halskov August 14, 2011 at 20:13

    Thanks a lot – I thought osx lion had deleted the folder somehow 🙂

  7. Thx a lot! Thought that I experienced errors on my hard rive.

  8. Thanks so much…it works!


  10. Thanks a lot.. Works !

  11. Than you. work great!!!

  12. Thanks a lot!!

  13. Thank you!


  15. THANK YOU!!!!! What a stupid change by apple!!

  16. Thank you! So glad google indexed so I didn’t have to spend hours trying to find a solution.

  17. Great post. WOrked for me. Why did Apple make that change?

    • Probably because they don’t want people removing files from the Library (without doing research) as this can cause problems with the user profile.

  18. Or you could download Lion Tweaks 1.4
    First item in the dialog box on the left:
    Show the user library folder- click yes to show library folder or click no to hide library folder…….



  21. Brilliant! Thanks!

  22. Whew! Taken me all afternoon to find this solution!! Works! Many thanks.

  23. thank you, I find my library folder. But there’s nothing in the autosave information folder. I was trying to find my unsaved textedit file. couldn’t find it anywhere.

    I had to search for “Library” every day for 2 months.
    But at least I got better at typing Library!

  25. When I copied and paste into terminal and hit enter it comes up with this
    unknown-7c-c3-a1-71-17-6b:~ josephtorsney$
    What do I do?

    • Try typing the following into Terminal before the command mentioned in the instructions:
      cd ~
      Then press Enter.

  26. sachin musaddi March 20, 2012 at 19:37

    thanks a tonne man….ur demigod….cracked my screws ll evening on this “downloads folder”……thanks again….

  27. Thanks for this, but when I type in the command, I get “Permission Denied”…

  28. AWESOME!!!

  29. Thanks to you for posting this! Just some more sneaky, time-wasting changes Apple has made to slow us down in complicated programming when upgrading to newer OS. I’m starting to dread their programmers… and their upgrades/updates.

  30. Thanks!

  31. Thanks so much, really helped when i was trying to configure my stuff………

  32. That was great!
    Does anyone know how to transfer mailboxes from snow leopard to the new lion. They come up in a format that MacMail does not want to import it. I have a lot of mailboxes in the old sidebar that I don’t want to lose.

  33. hi…
    i was dowen loding a oic from msn mail the folder that i had in the destop i miss that i can find it pls any one can tell me how to find it

  34. Gary,
    Make sure you have the latest update for Mac Mail once you have upgraded to either Lion or M. Lion. Try that.

  35. Thanks a lot. I feel Leopard is more stable and easier than Lion.

  36. Thanks…like everyone else who has responded, we need people like you to help us with simple instructions that work!

  37. Great Tipp.

    Thanks from >Hamburg<

  38. You are my hero. Thank you so much for the help!

  39. Absolute star-thanks

  40. Appleminecrafted October 30, 2012 at 15:39

    Thank you sooooooooooooo much, this helps me a lot since my app files can now be configured again.

  41. Thanks so very much. I was going crazy!

  42. hero of the day!

  43. jeff the inventor November 13, 2012 at 17:32

    You are a hero sir. After a mac moron (a so called ‘genius’) lost 5 years of my business emails I had to become an expert at restoring them from another computer and external hard drive through the library. Library! Where the …. is it on Lion.

    Thanks to you my emails are restored safely. Well done, thanks, cheers mate etc etc etc..

    PS gary 29 July 2012.Call me on +44 (0)151 234 9887 (UK) and I can talk you through transferring your mailboxes from Snow Leopard to Lion – via the Library of course!

  44. A HUGE thank you! I’ve been having the WORST time with some of my applications because of this missing LIbrary folder. Thank you!!!!

  45. Thanks! Perfect!

  46. Works and it was quick. Thank you

  47. WOW thanks, That was so easy and it has been bugging me for ages!

  48. Thank you so much.

  49. thanks it worked!

  50. thank you very mucy buddy. it worked. i m proud of you. thanks

  51. didnt work on my MacBook Pro 🙁 I Have the worst problem what no one helps with

  52. im trying to get nodus but i need my library folder and it dont work :(!

  53. mohammad heidari March 8, 2013 at 12:45


  54. Wow!
    Its just like the “Now that was easy” button from Staples!

  55. Thanks it works for me…

  56. You my friend are the bomb and just saved me 19 bucks from Apple care.

  57. Did this, still don’t see a Library folder. Or, for that matter, a home folder. The previous Mac I owned ran 10.6.8, and had a Users folder, in which the path Users>Computer Name Here>Library, etc was plainly visible and accessible.

    I see no such folders with 10.8.2, and this Library fix you mention sounds great, but unfortunately didn’t do a thing after I did it. How do I find where the Library folder supposedly exists after doing the cut and paste in Terminal?


    • The home folder is listed under the “FAVORITES” tab on the sidebar of the finder window. It will have a house icon and your username. If it doesn’t appear there then you can hold cmd + shft + “g”, then type ~ and enter. This will take you to your home folder. If you then press cmd + “t” this will be added to your sidebar.

      Or you can add your home folder to the favorites bar by typing cmd + “,” this will take you to finder preferences. Select sidebar tab. Here you can add and remove your home folder.

  58. And here I spent an hour trying to find this stinking folder, had to figure out how to go through Terminal to delete files & directories from Library that I needed to clean out (Picasa stinks). This would have been way easier, but instead I figured out how to recursively remove a directory and its contents. 🙁

  59. thanks a lot 🙂

  60. You’re a life saver! Worked on MacOS X Mavericks. Thank you

  61. thank you!

  62. It didnt work for me i copied the info on the box and pasted it and press enter and nothing happens.
    What can i do?

    • If you pasted into terminal and hit enter then the library folder should now be visible from your home folder. Press cmd + shft + h to go to your home folder. You need to refresh your folder for it to show up (just go into another folder and go back to home). If you’re using Mavericks the go to you home folder and press cmd + j to bring up the options, at the bottom apple have added a “show library folder” option just tick that.

  63. Thank you so much works so well! At first I was devastated, but you saved the day thanks!

  64. Brilliant thanks

  65. you are god on earth

  66. Loopy993 the gamer better than bajan November 23, 2014 at 17:29

    well thanks alot! i just found out that my library was missing then i searched this site and it worked

    big shout out to you



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