How to Show User Library on Remote OSX Volumes

Problem to be Solved

You’ve got a great backup of your OSX computer, and you need to get something back from the Library folder, say something in the Application Support subfolder. These instructions will show you how to do unhide the User Library folder on the external drive or even on a second Mac.

Credit goes to Steve Davidson for teaching me how to do this.

Let's Start with a Remote Mac Because the Syntax is Simpler

On the remote Mac, enable Remote Login (https://www.podfeet.com/blog/how-to-set-up-a-mac-for-remote-login/) and use the ssh command to Secure Shell into the remote Mac. In this example, our local machien name is Podfeet-rMBP, and our remote Mac’s name is Core-i7-4.local.

I have the same user account on both but I used the allison@ the beginning to show you how to enter your user name if it’s different on the other Mac.

Let's Start with a Remote Mac Because the Syntax is Simpler

Note that the Library Folder is Not Visible

Here’s a screenshot of the remote Mac Core i7, and the Library folder is invisible.

Note that the Library Folder is Not Visible

Enter the chflags nohidden Command

Enter:

  chflags nohidden ~/Library/

Enter the chflags nohidden Command

User Library Folder is Now Visible on the Remote Mac

User Library Folder is Now Visible on the Remote Mac

Next Let's Repeat This On An External Volume

My backup drive has a nice long annoying name “Core i7 backup 2011 03 03”. As you can see I have a backup of my home (allison) directory but I can’t see the Library folder.

Next Let's Repeat This On An External Volume

Repeat the chflags Command

In this case we have the same command but we have to navigate first to Volumes, then to the specific backup drive name (with those annoying spaces replaced with \ and space) and then to the user directory and then Library.

chflags nohidden /Volumes/Core\ i7\ backup\ 2011\ 03\ 03/allison/Library

To be honest it might be easier to change the name of the volume not to have spaces than it is to type it this way!

Or you could use quotes like this:

chflags nohidden /Volumes/'Core i7 backup 2011 03 03'/allison/Library

Repeat the chflags Command

Now Your Library is Visible on Your Backup Volume

Important note – you only have to do this one time, every time you connect your external drive the Library will be visible.

Now Your Library is Visible on Your Backup Volume

One thought on “How to Show User Library on Remote OSX Volumes

  1. Joeri - April 29, 2017

    Or… use Finder
    Shift – Cmd – G = Goto folder …

    /Volumes/allison/Library/

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