Read Me First: A Take Control Crash Course
by Tonya Engst

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Table of Contents

The Point of the Home Folder

When you follow directions that refer to “your home folder,” you’ll be more successful if you know how to locate your home folder—and have some idea of what it’s for.

The home folder is where your files are stored on your Mac. By “your files” I mean anything you create (presentations, to-do lists, graphics, songs) as well as things you get from others (downloaded media, email attachments from your boss). And, I also mean files that a piece of software installs for you—more on that later in this chapter. However, “your files” does not include Mac apps or the operating system.

There are numerous ways to view your home folder , but this is perhaps the most obvious: in the Finder, choose Go > Home.

① 	Here’s a look at a typical home folder in icon view. Notice the house icon in the title bar at the top of the window. The logged-in user’s name, hestia, also appears in the title bar.

① Here’s a look at a typical home folder in icon view. Notice the house icon in the title bar at the top of the window. The logged-in user’s name, hestia, also appears in the title bar.

Notice the path to the home folder in the path bar at the bottom of the figure above. All home folders reside the /Users folder (see Following a Mac Path, earlier).

Users and Home Folders

The Hidden Library Folder

The home folder holds a hidden folder called Library. There are several other folders called Library on every Mac, so this folder is often referred to as the user Library folder, in order to distinguish it from the others. I talk about Finding the User Library Folder later.

Home Folder Organization

② 	Feel free to make subfolders within the folders inside your home folder. Here you can see two folders within the Documents folder.

② Feel free to make subfolders within the folders inside your home folder. Here you can see two folders within the Documents folder.

Saving into the Home Folder

③ 	In this typical Save dialog, the location on the Where pop-up menu (red arrow) is where the file will save; click the pop-up menu to change the location. For more options, click the disclosure button (red circle).

③ In this typical Save dialog, the location on the Where pop-up menu (red arrow) is where the file will save; click the pop-up menu to change the location. For more options, click the disclosure button (red circle).

Note: You may want to save files to iCloud instead of to a destination on your drive. To learn more about saving to iCloud, read Take Control of iCloud.

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“Store your files in the default folders OS X made for you in your home folder, not loose in the home folder itself.”

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