Unhiding Your Mac’s Users Directory

| TMO Quick Tip

Apple's iTunes 11.2 update brought us an odd side-effect: the Users directory where your Home folder lives will disappear upon reboot if Find My Mac is enabled. Your files are still safe and sound, but a little harder to get at. Luckily, it isn't too difficult to make your Users directory appear again.

Apple hid the Users directory with its OS X 10.9.3 updateApple hid the Users directory with its iTunes 11.2 update...

The Users directory is where the Home folders live for every user on your Mac. You can show your own Home directory in the sidebar for Finder windows, which does give you quick access to your own files. If you need to see your complete Users directory, here's what to do:

  • Launch Terminal. It's hiding in the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder.
  • Enter this command in Terminal: sudo chflags nohidden /Users
  • Enter your administrator password when prompted.

...but you can bring it back with a Terminal command....but you can bring it back with a Terminal command.

That's it. Now your Users directory will appear in Finder windows, just as it did before iTunes 11.2.

Apple's decision to hide the Users directory without warning anyone came as a surprise, but in retrospect, we should've seen this coming. Apple has been pushing Mac users closer to a file storage system that more closely matches iOS, and that means less control over how our documents are organized. Hiding the Users directory was just another part of that transition process.

This change may serve as a hint about what's coming in future OS X updates. We may get more hints when Apple shows off OS X 10.10, most likely at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference in June, too.

[1:44pm: Article updated to reflect iTunes 11.2 as the root cause of this issue]

[Some image elements courtesy Shutterstock]

Comments

Alan Morris

The problem is that certain applications cannot now see the folder. Adobe’s Lightroom is one example.  I am sure there are others.  I believe your fix only works until you reboot the computer. Apple is getting more like Microsoft every day #fail

vpndev

Interesting. Mine has never been hidden. Even a full-new-from-internet install (boot into recovery firmware) has it showing.

I wonder how come you were so “lucky” ?

Gridmaster

I don’t see the problem, the /Users folder is only hidden when there is 1 user, and when there are 2 or more it appears.

jltnol

I have 2 users, and it was hidden.

As the Mac becomes more like iOS with no “file system” for users to see… that’s the day I close up shop and find a new OS.  It’s been great, Apple, but in the end, it’s my data, and I want to be the one in control of where it is stored, not you.

Waitaminute

Final Cut Pro X wasn’t able to see the Users folder when I tried to import media. I had to copy the files to a server to be able to import. The Terminal solution worked, but I don’t like the idea of having to remember to run the Terminal every time I restart. Christopher Breen in MacWorld shows how to build an AppleScript that runs automatically at startup:

http://www.macworld.com/article/2155980/os-x-10-9-3-unhiding-the-users-folder.html

David Iwanicki

Root cause of issue appears to be a combination of iTunes 11.2 and Find My Mac.

see here for more details: http://derflounder.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/users-folder-being-hidden-with-itunes-11-2-installed-and-find-my-mac-enabled/

PSMacintosh

“Apple’s decision to hide the Users directory without warning…..”
Has Apple actually claimed that they have intentionally taken this action?
I’m not convinced this is intentional.  I’d like to see the proof of it first.  (.....Before I go ballistic.)

To me, this is a substantial bug, not a feature.
If this in intentional, I’m sick and tired of Apple making my life harder.
If it is a mistaken bug, then Apple should fix it quickly.

 

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