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Understand the Various Library Folders

As you work with your Mac, you'll run across a number of folders with the same name: Library. Do you see the two Library folders in the illustration below? And if you open the “System” folder, you'd see another Library folder.

Library folders contain information that the operating system and certain applications need to function. Unless you have a really good reason and know exactly what you're doing, leave the Library folders alone—don't put anything in them and don't take anything out.

The Library folder you see above, the one directly to the right of the “Macintosh HD,” is at the “top level” of your hard disk. It contains files that are critical to running your entire computer, and those files pertain to all users who use this Mac. For instance, this Library folder has a folder inside called “Fonts,” and all fonts that are installed into this top level folder are available to all users. (For details about multiple users and how to create them, please see Lesson 9.)

The Library folder in the far-right column, above, is in my Home collection, my user folder. This is where all my application preferences, web page bookmarks, Address Book contact information, email, and other personal information is stored. Each user you set up will have her own Library folder with all her own data. There is even a Fonts folder in here; any fonts a user puts in her own Fonts folder will be available only to that user.

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