I just noticed that I have a 2MB ~ file in the root of my Macbook HD. This wasn't here last time I checked (probably months ago,) and my guess is that it is from a system crash the other day or maybe from the upgrade to Yosemite.

What is this file and can I delete it without incident?

finder tilde file

bash tilde file

  • I just checked mine and found 2 files with ".mov" extensions. How did those videos got there I do not know. Anyway I just deleted them.
    – Ruskes
    Nov 27, 2014 at 8:02

1 Answer 1


This seems to be an attempt to write something to the ~ directory, but instead has been written to the file /~. This file isn't required by OS X, but if an app is still using it then deleting it could break things. Make a backup if you delete it.

  • Shouldn't I be able to notice a file name if I cat the file? Nov 28, 2014 at 12:39
  • @Garrett Maybe, maybe not. It's unclear exactly how the file was created and what it contains (folder structure as file or simply a file intended for a different path).
    – grg
    Nov 28, 2014 at 13:05

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