Accessing the user library folder on Mac OS X Lion

Installing custom ICC profiles for papers, monitor, projectors or scanners on the Mac, or troubleshooting profile / colour management problems, often means that it ‘s necessary to access folders inside the user library folder.

With the release of Lion (Mac OS X 10.7), Apple took the decision to hide the user library folder by default, making it a little more difficult to access the ColorSync folders on Lion than previous versions of OS X.

Here are a number of methods for gaining access to those hidden ~/Library and ~/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/ folders.

First Method – Make the Library folder visible in the Finder Go menu:

Hold down the Alt / Option / ⌥ key when using the Go menu.

The user Library folder is listed below the current user’s Home directory.

Second Method – Use Go To Folder to open the Library folder:

In the Finder, choose Go > Go To Folder.
In the Go To Folder dialog, type ~/Library/.

Click Go.

To go directly to the ColorSync profiles folder, type ~/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/ in the Go To Folder dialog, and then click Go.

One useful thing about the Go menu is that after you have accessed ~/Library or ~/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/ several times, it appear in the Recent Folders submenu, making repeat access much easier.

Third Method – use a keyboard shortcut to open the Go To Folder dialog:

Hit Command + Shift + G from the Mac desktop; this opens the Go To Folder dialog.

As above, type ~/Library/ in the Go To Folder dialog, and then click Go to open the user Library folder.

To go directly to the ColorSync profiles folder, type ~/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/ and then click Go.

Again, once you have accessed ~/Library or ~/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/ a number of times, it appear in the Recent Folders submenu, making repeat access easier.

Fourth Method – use the open command from a terminal window:

You can use the open command to access the user Library folder in the Finder, via the Terminal:

open ~/Library/ and then press Return.

It’s possible to go directly to the ColorSync profiles folder using the following command line:

open ~/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/ and then pressing Return.

Fifth Method – Make the user Library folder permanently visible:

This is for advanced users with good typing skills only.

With the first four methods, the library folder will no longer be visible once you close the Finder window. This final method makes the user library folder permanently visible.

Did I mention that you should should only use this method if you have good typing skills and are an advanced user?

From within a Terminal window, type the following command and press Return:

chflags nohidden ~/Library

You may be prompted to enter the system administrator password.

Note that the system administrator password is not visible as you type, so take care.