In my root folder, there is a hidden folder called "home" at the path /home. It's empty. Do I need it and can I delete it safely?

  • 3
    Why would you want to delete it if it's empty? Best thing to do with hidden system folders is just leave them alone. – Tetsujin Sep 22 '19 at 14:04
  • I suspect I might have created it on accident... – douira Sep 22 '19 at 14:05
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    Related: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/44058/…, especially the answers there – nohillside Sep 22 '19 at 14:05
  • Ok I guess I'll let it be then. Maybe it does serve some purpose. – douira Sep 22 '19 at 14:08
  • It's the default mount point for the auto mounter, see /etc/auto_master. – nohillside Sep 22 '19 at 14:24

The folder /home is part of the standard MacOS installation. Just because it's empty, doesn't mean that it's not needed or not expected by other processes at certain times.

If you're short of space, deleting parts of the OS that you think might not be used is unwise. User-added content is likely to be at least 10 times the size of the system files, so start there!

  • If /home is part of the standard installation can you elaborate on what it is used for? – fd0 Sep 22 '19 at 19:15
  • I wasn't looking to delete it for space. I was just wondering if I had created it myself on accident. But it seems that is not the case. Would you care to briefly elaborate what it is used for? – douira Sep 22 '19 at 20:31
  • The /home folder is used on other Unix systems as the location of user accounts. I suspect it is provided just for compatibility with software on other Unix systems. (MacOS is "certified Unix", meaning it conforms to a variety of standards.) You cannot easily create a hidden folder at root level by accident. (Try it!) – benwiggy Sep 23 '19 at 6:36

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