OS X 10.9.3: Why is the /Users Folder Hidden for Some Users but Not All Users?

Update: Apple has released a fix for this issue.

Yesterday, I showed how you could unhide the /Users folder in OS X 10.9.3, the latest update to OS X that was released yesterday. Yet many users, in comments, emails and on Twitter, have pointed out that their /Users folder is not hidden. Here, it’s hidden on both my Macs: a late 2011 Mac mini, and an early 2013 MacBook Pro.

It really doesn’t make sense for this folder to be hidden; it contains the /Users/Shared folder, which you may want to use to provide files to other users, since all users can access it. My guess, given that not everyone sees the /Users folder as hidden, is that this is a bug; one way or another. In other words, it should either not be hidden, or it should be hidden for everyone.

It’s hidden and not hidden for users with admin accounts, and with or without multiple users; in other words, no one has yet found the variable that controls its visibility.

Frankly, if Apple is moving OS X toward an iOS model, where users don’t have access to the filesystem – they’ll never do this entirely, at least in the near future – it would make more sense to start by hiding the top-level /Library and /System folders, which you really only need to access when troubleshooting, or when manually installing certain types of software.

What about you? Is /Users hidden or not?

Update: I’m convinced this is a bug. Many users still see it, and if I’m in column view, and go up in the hierarchy, I see this:

Messages Image(622799345).png

Update 2: Turns out that Dave Hamilton, writing at The Mac Observer, had pinned down the problem. He says:

Turns out that hidden /Users folder has nothing to do with OS X 10.9.3. Your /Users and /Users/Shared folders will be hidden by OS X upon every reboot of your Mac if you have updated to iTunes 11.2 and have Find My Mac enabled.

Interesting that he’s tested this with the iTunes update and not the OS X update; that doesn’t make any sense. I found that, if Find My Mac was off, and I rebooted, and the /Users folder was visible, checking Find My Mac in the iCloud preference pane made it vanish immediately. This is clearly a bug.

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