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I want to restore the hidden user Library folder from Time Machine but I am unable to see it when I enter Time Machine. Read on.

I thought the hidden Library folder would appear if I used the Terminal command to either reveal the hidden Library folder AND/OR to show all hidden files and folders. Both commands work outside of Time Machine but they don't show any hidden files or folders when I am in Time Machine space.

Is it possible to see and/or restore the hidden Library folder in Time Machine?

I appreciate any help? I'm stuck.

P.S. I am using 10.8.1 if that is helpful to know. And the Time Machine backup that I am trying to restore my Library folder from was from my previous hard drive in which I was also running 10.8.1. I switched to a new hard drive.

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Which Terminal Commands have you used? –  Thecafremo Aug 29 '12 at 21:11
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4 Answers

You can use bypass to make changes in the folders for snapshots: sudo /System/Library/Extensions/TMSafetyNet.kext/Helpers/bypass chflags nohidden /Volumes/*/Backups.backupdb/*/*/*/Users/*/Library/. bypass was in /System/Library/Extensions/TMSafetyNet.kext/Contents/MacOS/bypass on Lion.

Related questions:

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Thank you. This was driving me nuts because I was trying to restore files from the a TM user Library folder using the "Browse Other Backup Disks" command for TM. –  Clay Dec 5 '12 at 2:28
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If you use the finder's menu "goto" while holding down the alt-key, the library folder is visible in the menu:

Finder with Library Folder in Goto Menu

Select it. The finder shows the content of /Users/<your name>/Libray. Now start Time Machine by clicking on its icon in the dock – violà, you have what you want:

Time Maschine showing User Library folder

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vilmoskörte I want to kiss you right now. I used your advice and it worked! Thank you! –  Allie Jan 24 at 20:57
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Using Tinker Tool 4.9 I showed invisibles, then went into Time Machine. Invisibles were still there.

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I tried using Tinker Tool and it does show the hidden Library folder but the folder has the red dot with the dash inside meaning I don't have access to it. So although a creative solution I am not able to access the contents of the Library folder.

I used these two Terminal commands: chflags nohidden ~/Library AND.... these two commands (ignore the 1 and 2, it's a two step process):

  1. defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool true
  2. killall Finder

Both commands show hidden files and folders but it doesn't work right for Time Machine.

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+1 This worked great when I needed to restore a backup of my ~/.profile. Remember you can change back by running the same defaults command again, with false instead of true. –  Calrion Jun 10 '13 at 8:26
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