Fix hidden Users folder after updating to OS X 10.9.3

FinderIconXApple’s OS X 10.9.3 update was released yesterday, bringing a number of security and bug fixes to Mavericks; however, some people have noticed that the update has resulted in the Users directory that resides at the root of the hard drive to become hidden.

Even though this directory is not commonly accessed directly, some people may regularly use it for managing user accounts, or accessing the Shared user directory for copying files to and from accounts on the system.

This bug only happens on some systems, and by simply having the directory being hidden the system will not be adversely affected. All contents will still be fully accessible so accounts can still be made and logged into. You can even access the directory by opening the Finder to your home directory and then going up one level (press Command-up arrow).

However, if you would like to restore the Users directory to its original non-hidden state, then open the Terminal utility in the Applications > Utilities folder, and run the following command from within an administrative account:

sudo chflags nohidden /Users

This command will require the administrative password to be entered (it will not show when you type), and when run will switch the Users folder to be visible again.

UPDATE: This bug is fixed with the release of iTunes 11.2.1. Use Software Update to install the latest version of iTunes, and you should see the Users folder disappear.

16 thoughts on “Fix hidden Users folder after updating to OS X 10.9.3

  1. B. Jefferson Le Blanc

    Unfortunately, as noted in a Macworld online article by Chris Breen ( this solution is only temporary. The fix doesn’t persist through restarts. He offers the same Terminal fix and an Apple Script that, saved as an application, will run the Terminal script at startup after putting the Apple Script app in the Login Items list.

    1. Al Maloney

      I am a bit concerned that this script, having my plain text password, poses a security risk.

  2. Russ Tolman

    Once you have the Users directory unhidden; you can drag it to the sidebar in the finder and it remains available through restarts. System info: 10.9.3, Late 2013 27′ iMac 32gb ram

  3. Kevin

    The problem has to do with Find My Mac. make sure that its turned off before you unhide your Users folder or to will not hold after a restart

  4. Derek Currie

    The wrinkles in this bug keep making themselves evident. I will NOT be using the AppleScript as it is indeed an insecure way to work around the problem. Meanwhile, The ‘Find My Mac’ fix does NOT work for me. Then there’s this oddity: I installed 10.9.3 on two different partitions on the same machine. ONE had the bug. The OTHER did not. While fiddling around with the affected partition, magically the other partition developed the bug! What the?!

    ALSO: Note that /Users is not the only disappearing folder. We’re also supposed to be seeing /Users/Sharing. To expose this CRITICAL folder we can simply run the Terminal command Topher provided, but at the end instead use ‘/Users/Sharing’. But of course, this is only temporary until the next reboot.

    At this time I know of NO permanent solution I can advise. This is APPLE’S BUG to solve and I for one will be pestering them loudly over this.

    1. Derek Currie

      This Works. It’s a permanent workaround the solves the bad permissions problem behind this bug. It was provided by David Helms over at Kirk McElhearn’s Kirkville blog. It was taken from a discussion over at Apple’s support board. I’ve run through the procedure successfully. This is for folks already comfortable with the CLI (Terminal commands) including path statements. If you are not, please do not try this.
      – – – –

      David Helms says:
      05/16/2014 at 9:42 pm

      After browsing several websites today, the bug does indeed appear to be connected to iTunes 11.2 AND Find My Mac being “on”. So it appears the cause doesn’t really involve the 10.9.3 update directly.

      With that being said here is the permanent fix that I have tried on my system and it did indeed work for me (sourced originally from somewhere on the Apple discussion blogs):

      Start your computer with Alt + CMD + P + R in order to do a PRAM reset
      Then start your computer with CMD + R for recovery partition boot

      Launch Disk Utility and repair permissions. Quit Disk Utility and open Terminal (Utilities -> Terminal) and type:

      cd /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD (or the name of your partition)
      chmod 755 Users
      chmod 755 Users/Shared
      chflags nohidden Users
      chflags nohidden Users/Shared

      Quit and reboot to the normal Macintosh HD (or whatever the name of your partition). The fix will survive restarts. One poster recommended a value of 1777 for the Users/Shared folder. I don’t know enough about the file flags to know which is the preferable value, but 755 seemed to work for me.

      1. Derek Currie

        Not exactly, according to Apple. They actually said this:

        Rumored to restore visibility of the Users folder

        And maybe they’ll definitively figure out what the bug actually is some other day. WTF?! I’m totally UNimpressed with Apple right now, despite the appreciated expediency of whatever the hell they are ‘rumored’ to have fixed. Idiotic of Apple in the extreme.

      2. Derek Currie

        Oh of course and let’s point out the /Users/Shared folder isn’t even mentioned in the notes. I hope these coding geniuses took care of that problem as well.

  5. Jon

    The problem is much more serious than just the folders being hidden. The /Users folder also gets its permissions changed from 0755 to 0777 — anyone can write to it.

    There’s a long thread at about this.

    Bottom line (so far) is that the following works:

    1. Disable “Find My Mac” in the iCloud System Preferences
    2. Use Disk Utility to “Repair Permissions”
    3. Unhide the files with sudo chflags nohidden /Users; sudo chflags nohidden /Users/Shared

    (If Find My Mac is not disabled, the permissions repair and unhiding will be undone at next boot.)

  6. Graig Kivell

    I have never had the actual “Users” file displayed in my Finder Sidebar but rather my Home folder, User name . It has always been this way by default. My Users folder did not disappear from the Macintosh HD folder but it does contain My Home folder and one named “Shared”. Is it the norm to have “Users” shown in the Sidebar list or just a workaround?

  7. baltwo

    I’ve not ever enabled Find My Mac or any cloudy thing, since my iMac doesn’t travel from its current location, and have not experienced this problem. However, the steps Kevin posted in the thread appear to work for those who have had the problem.

  8. B. Jefferson Le Blanc

    Some reports say the hidden users folder problem is related to the iTunes 11.2 update of May 15. Apple quickly released another update (May 16), iTunes 11.2.1 ( that reports over at MacUpdate say has solved the problem for them. Note that the Apple Downloads page ( gives this a version number of 11.2 – but you can see by the date that it’s not the same 11.2 update that came out a day earlier, which is also listed on the page. If you click through to the actual download page I posted above (2 pages in) you will see the actual version number, 11.2.1.

    Since I didn’t have this problem myself (Find My Mac is not turned on because I have a desktop Mac that doesn’t move), I will be interested to see if the latest update fixes the problem for anyone here.

  9. Jon

    iTunes 11.2.1 fixes the problem.

    (@baltwo — although Kevin’s step “fix” the problem, they leave /Users/Shared with incorrect permissions.)

  10. tero

    Had this exact same issue on a brand new MacBook Pro with the latest iOS, iTunes etc.

    Rather than enter any Terminal commands, I found it easier to simply locate the library via a help search in Finder and then use the “add to sidebar” option under File. Seemed to stick after that as well.

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