Hidden Users Folder Result of iTunes 11.2 and Find My Mac Combination, not 10.9.3

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Most – but not all – folks who upgraded to 10.9.3 yesterday immediately began noticing that their /Users folders had disppeared. Those who looked also found that their /Users/Shared folders had disappeared. 

Never fear, we published a few tricks to unhide those folders.

We became curious when more and more people began reporting that their folders hadn't disappeared, so we set about doing some isolation testing. After all, OS X 10.9.3 wasn't the only update Apple released yesterday. iTunes 11.2 made its public debut, as well.

Turns out that hidden /Users folder has nothing to do with OS X 10.9.3. Your /Users and /Users/Shared folders will be hidden by OS X upon every reboot of your Mac if you have updated to iTunes 11.2 and have Find My Mac enabled.

This hiding of the /Users folder happens at reboot, so it's possible to still see it even after updating iTunes with Find My Mac enabled. Once you reboot it will disappear. Even if you use our trick above it will still disappear after you restart your Mac.

Once it's hidden it will stay hidden, though, even if you disable Find My Mac and then reboot. However, if you disable Find My Mac and run our Terminal command in the aforementioned article, the folder will stay visible.

One of our readers indicated that Apple said this is intentional. If it were in 10.9.3 I would believe it. But seeing as how it's related to the iTunes update, I'm not sure. We'll reach out to Apple and let you know if we hear anything official.

[Update: iTunes 11.2.1 fixes this issue entirely.]

Comments

geoduck

Well…THAT is annoying.
Especially that it resets after each reboot.

doug13

There’s a problem with this theory. I’m having the Users disappearing problem. On my iMac 27, I am starting up from a RAID array that prevents enabling Find My Mac since there can be no recovery partition on a RAID array. On my MBP, I upgraded iTunes to 11.2 but I am still running OSX 10.9.2 problem exists on both machines. I suppose that iTunes 11.2 causes the problem, but have no idea what other factor needs to be present. Any other ideas welcome…

Chuck La Tournous

Great detective work, Dave!

Until this is fixed, rather than the terminal fix, which as you say needs to be done after each restart, I just make an alias of my Users folder and put it in the same folder. For those who may not know how to do that, here’s how it’s done:

In the Finder, go to the Go menu and choose “Go to Folder…” Type “/Users” (without the quotes) and hit Go. You’ll see the Users folder (greyed out). Right click on it and choose “Make Alias.” You’ll be promoted for your password, and once you enter it, the alias will be created alongside your Users folder.

If you navigate away from that folder and come back to it, the Users folder will no longer be visible, but your alias will, and will allow you to see the folder’s contents as usual.

doug13

The alias idea is a good workaround for the Finder, but some apps (Adobe Lightroom 5 & probably others) won’t find the alias. Since the alias can’t have the same name in a folder as a referenced file (Users in this case) I can’t simply rename the alias. It’s probably obvious, but this problem completely kills my ability to import photos into the Lightroom catalog. I’ll keep at it and will advise if I find a solution.

mjtomlin

The problem with the alias fix - although quite simple - is that the permissions are changed opening the /Users folder up to everyone.

I came up with another fix ...

I created the following script…

#!/bin/sh
chflags nohidden /Users /Users/Shared
chmod 755 /Users
chmod +t /Users/Shared

saved it as “.fix” in my home directory, then in the terminal…

$ chmod 755 .fix
$ sudo defaults write com.apple.loginwindow LoginHook “/Users/mjtomlin/.fix”


This is script is run at every login, including reboots and it is run as root so no need to enter your password.

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