Understanding MacOS Library folders

  • Live Versions: All
  • Operating System: Mac

On MacOS there are two Library locations:

  1. The local Library: Macintosh HD/Library
  2. The user Library: Macintosh HD/Users/[your username]/Library

Note: Not to be confused with Live's User Library.

1. The local Library

Location: Macintosh HD/Library

This library is where computer-wide settings and content for all users on the Mac is stored. VST and AU plug-ins are usually installed to this Library by default (in the Audio → Plug-Ins folder). 


Usually Macintosh HD is accessible as a shortcut on the sidebar in Finder. If it's not there, you can add it as follows:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Open the View menu and click Show Sidebar (in case it's not visible already).
  3. Then open the Finder menu, and click Preferences.
  4. Click on the Sidebar tab.
  5. Under Locations, tick Hard Disks.
  6. Macintosh HD is then visible in Finder's sidebar. Click this to access the local Library folder (Macintosh HD/Library).

2. The user Library

Location: Macintosh HD/Users/[your username]/Library

This library folder is only accessible to the current user account. It's hidden by default. This is where Live (and other applications) stores per-user settings, such as preference files and caches. You can access this hidden user Library using these instructions: How to access hidden folders.