Look at the folder structure of a typical OS X installation. Open a Finder window and click the icon for your hard drive which is typically called Macintosh HD in the Sidebar. You should see at least four folders: Applications, Library, System, and Users.
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Within the Users folder, each user has his own set of folders containing documents, preferences, and other information that belongs to that user and account. The Computer folder shows all the storage devices that are currently connected to your Mac.
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The following steps show how you can start at the Computer folder and drill down through the folder structure:. Technically, this drive is called your boot drive. In this folder, you find applications and utilities that Apple includes with OS X.
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The Library folder, at the root level of your OS X hard drive, is like a public library; it stores items available to everyone who logs into any account on this Mac. In other words, you should never have to touch this third Library folder. By and large, the public Library subfolder that gets the most use is the Fonts folder, which houses many of the fonts installed on the Mac. Finally, the Library in the Users folder is where OS X stores configuration and preferences files shared by all users.
Mac OS X Directory Structure explained
Josh Archer Categories: You can have it show a graphical path, but getting just the text based path to a directory for use in the Terminal for example requires a couple of extra steps. Apple removed the ability to easily copy the file path in OS X Yosemite. Yosemite users must now follow a complicated procedure of creating a Service to do this simple task or take the path directly from the command line.
If you are a El Capitan user you are in luck, Apple has now created a specific command to capture the file path. Instructions on how to use this can be found here. The first thing to do is identify the folder you need to know the full path for.
El Capitan - Built in file path copy function
This displays various bits of info about the folder as you can see below:. This is the path to the folder we have been looking for.
The path to the folder is highlighted and made clearer in the screenshot below:. You can now copy this text based absolute folder path and paste it into your Terminal window. The screenshot below demonstrates this:.
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Knowing the text based absolute path to a folder can be useful for a number of reasons.