Mac Tip: Make the Library folder visible in Time Machine

Yesterday a reader question came in about making the macOS Library folder visible in Time Machine. Because Apple hides this directory both in the Finder and in the backup. However, if you want to restore a file or folder (for example "Mail") from the library using Time Machine, you will be faced with a puzzle. In the following I will show you the solution.

Find the Library folder in Time Machine Backup

Let's look at the first Library folder in the “Macintosh HD” directory. This is visible by default. Files from it can be restored or reverted to an earlier state by opening the Finder, selecting the hard drive in it and then opening the Time Machine overview (e.g. with the Finder open in Spotlight (cmd + spacebar) enter "Time Machine" and confirm).

Make the library folder visible in Time Machine by first calling up the Finder and then backing up the directory.

You can make the library folder in the main hard drive directory visible in Time Machine by first calling up the Finder and then backing up the directory.

Call up the library folder in the user directory in the backup

It works a little differently in the user directory, where there is also a "library". The folder is hidden by default. If you have hidden files and folders hidden, then it is important to make them visible first. Show hidden files in macOS is quick and easy with the Key combination cmd + Shift + period ("⌘⇧."). With this trick you can Finder now display and open the Library folder of the user directory. Then call up the Time Machine overview – and use old saves and file versions.

The hidden library element in the user folder must first be made visible.

The hidden library element in the user folder must first be made visible.

Useful tips and tricks

There is more information and tips about Time Machine, among other things on the Apple site. Here in the blog you will also find numerous instructions and how-to articles for macOS, iOS and other systems. For example, you can find it here the best keyboard shortcuts for Mac. In another guide I also described you as you do Deactivate WLAN and Bluetooth under iOS 11 can. And there are also always interesting articles about watchOS and tvOS. If you always want to be up to date, subscribe to Sir Apfelot newsletter.

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2 comments

  1. change says:

    Hello, I've been doing some experiments with my Mac over the past few days, ie setting up an alternative macOS on an external SSD. I found a useful tip on how to delete the installer.

    And now, the dumbass always sits in front of the computer, I accidentally deleted my reading list in Safari.

    But with this article and the tip on how to find hidden files/folders on mac, I managed to bring the Reading List from Time Machine back to Safari.

    Many thanks for your work, maybe I can give you back some joy with my music, which you can find on the linked website.

    change

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hello Andy! Thank you for your feedback signal. Glad the article helped. I'll listen to your music in a quiet minute. I'm excited! 😊

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