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How to Find and Open the Library Folder on a Mac

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You may or may not have noticed that your Mac has a Library folder on it. The Library folder stores settings for your system as well as your apps, resources, and support files – basically, it's a place where your operating system puts all of its related data.

How to get to the Library folder on your Mac

If you have Finder active, you can get to your library folder very easily. Just open Finder and then go to “Go” in the menu bar and click on “Library”.

Another easy way to get to your Library folder is to launch Finder and then simply press the keys ⌘⇧L (command-shift-L) as you can see in the screenshot below.

Now that I’ve found my Library folder, how can I use it?

So you’ve opened your Library folder – great. But what can it actually do for you, and why would you even want to open it? There are a lot of folders inside the Library – let’s talk about a couple that might be useful to you.

An important note: Please make sure that you know what you’re doing before digging into the files in this folder. If they’re not handled correctly (for example, renamed or moved), they might end causing your system to not function properly. Also, depending on how you use your Mac and what apps you have installed, not all of these folders may show up in your own Libraries folder.

Application Support: Allows you to view data related to the applications on your Mac.

Messages: Allows you to view your archived messages that you’ve sent and received on your Mac, and gives you access to view them and delete them.

Keychain: Allows you to view files related to your Keychain setup and your stored passwords.

PreferencePanes: Allows you to view what apps have installed a preference pane on to your Mac.

Safari: Allows you to view things such as local storage data and extensions that are being used in your web browser.

Recap

Taking a peek into the Library folder is interesting, as you’re able to see where data is stored from different apps and services throughout your Mac. It can be a handy place to make adjustments to your Mac and also for adding or deleting data – but do so with caution! What are your experiences with the Library folder? Have you ever gone into your Library folder and made changes? If so, what were they and how did the process go?

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