Library question....

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by miamijim, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. miamijim, Jun 3, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011

    miamijim macrumors 6502

    May 26, 2010
    On my desktop I have my Mac HD file. In this file there is a library folder.

    Also in this file is my users folder in which is my account and a shared account, the shared account is empty as I am the only user.

    In my account there is another Library file...

    My question is this... Do I need both library files.. I always log in under my user account therefore is the first library file redundant.

    Plus I have a system folder with another folder in side of that also marked library....
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    There are three - all of them necessary.

    The ~/Library (in /Users/<username>) folder contains user specific settings, data, and other support files which could be unique to the user.

    The /Library and /System/Library are required by the OS and should normally be left alone.
  3. miamijim thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 26, 2010
    Thank you I was only wondering as they looked similar in some ways.

    I will not touch them.
  4. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    I think there are four, assuming only one account, but I can't check right now.
  5. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Nope, the other poster had it right. Only three on a standard single-user computer.

    Of course, if there were more, they should also be left alone. So this is really not important to the topic at hand.

  6. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Ok, I'll take your word for it. No sense searching for something that's not there! ;)
  7. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    To add a bit more detail, for reference, the top-level /Library folder contains settings and shared components (such as fonts on System Preference panels) that are available to all users, while the /System/Library folder contains such things that are an integral part of the OS.

    You don't want to mess with any of them if you don't know what you're doing, but as a general rule things added to the user's ~/Library are available to that individual user only, while the top-level /Library folder is very similar, but the components stored in there are for everybody. /System/Library, in turn, is ONLY for things Apple installs, and will never be messed with by the user.

    To use preference panes as an example, if you wanted to install a preference pane for just a single user, you would put it in ~/Library/PreferencePanes. If you wanted to install it for all users of the computer (usually the case), you would put it in /Library/PreferencePanes. (The system will actually ask you this when you go to install a new preference pane.) All the default system preferences that Apple builds into the OS are in /System/Library, and you would never, under any circumstance, mess with its contents.

    Likewise, if you're uninstalling something (like a font or Preference pane), it's ok to delete it from either /Library or ~/Library, but if you delete something from /System/Library you could well break the OS.

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