In any operating system you'll find hidden files. There are a few reasons for doing this... since they are never or rarely accessed by the user, they are hidden to give a cleaner appearance, and also as a protection mechanism... if the user can't see these files, they are unlikely to accidentally or intentionally alter or delete them. Many hidden files and folders are necessary to the stable operation of the Mac, containing configuration detail and preferences of the OS and programs.
But sometimes we find it necessary that we access these hidden files or folders... usually during Mac servicing when we need to fix an issue, or take a closer look at disk usage, or file contents.
The ~/Library/ folder is one we access commonly to work on user profile issues. In Mac OSX 10.7 (Lion) and on this folder is hidden. You can access it easily though by doing the following.
Open Finder, then in the tool bar hit "Go". You'll see the following:
Now hold down the Alt + Option key. The Library folder will become visible. This is an easy way to show the User Library folder.
Now if you want to show hidden folders and files in other areas of your Mac, we need to go to the terminal. Run Terminal, then type the following and press "Enter":
defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
You also need to to type the following into Terminal and press "Enter":
Now this sounds bad but all it does is kill any Finder running processes... it will start a new Finder process for you.
The hidden files and folders on your Mac should now be visible. Replace "TRUE" with "FALSE" to reverse this. You will need to run the "killall Finder" as before.
Let us know if our Mac Support Services can help you.