Unhiding Your Mac's Users Directory

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]