With Lion 10.7, how does one access the user library on a time machine backup through the Finder?

2 Answers 2


Go to the Finder. In the menu bar, select Go, then hold down Option. Select the "Library" option which appears.

Then enter Time Machine as per normal.


If you are accessing your Time Machine Backup with "Browse Other Backup Disks...", like you do if you created a fresh install of your OS, the solution from dan8394 does not work.

Probably because Time Machine can't know that your current Library folder is a newer version of the Library folder in the backup.

However, the solution proposed in a question that was closed as exact duplicate of this one works.

Lri helped me a lot with this answer:

The Library folder is probably just hidden by Finder. You can show all hidden files by running this in Terminal:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool true && osascript -e 'quit app "Finder"'

(Note: The part after the && will cause finder to stop, and you may need to restart it. So be aware that any open Finder windows may disappear.)

Changing true to false reverts the setting.

  • Thank-you! This is exactly what I needed, and what the Apple Genius wouldn't tell me. Sep 22, 2012 at 23:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .