How To Access System Storage On Mac

  1. Set up remote access for your network storage in three steps

Basics: public and private IP addresses

Public and private addresses are kept separate since this acts as a reliable protection mechanism. Local devices on a home or company network are protected from unauthorized access to the internet. A major disadvantage, however, is that desired access is only possible with the correct router configuration, which is used as a link between the two address ranges.

  • Public IP addresses: each router is assigned a public IP address from the respective ISP and this address connects the router to the internet and serves as a sender address for server requests. The public IP is usually dynamic for private users and most online businesses. This means that the address is randomly assigned to the router and only lasts for a certain period of time (around 24 hours). Since remote access from the internet requires a static address, methods such as dynamic DNS (DDNS) have been established and provide a way of linking dynamic IP addresses to unchangeable domains.
  • Private IP addresses: if you look at the structure of a Local Area Network (LAN) that connects different devices to a home or company network, you can also find IP addresses there. However, these are used exclusively for internal communication in the LAN, are automatically allocated by a DHCP server (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) on the router, and connect the individual hardware components of the network such as PCs, tablets, smartphones, or home servers. These addresses are sometimes called LAN IPs. Since private IP addresses are not routable, it isn’t possible to obtain direct access to the IPv4 address of your network storage from the internet. Instead, the router (which is the only instance of the LAN to have a public IP address), must be configured in such a way that access to the NAS system is redirected to its private LAN IP. This works best when network devices acting as servers are assigned a static LAN IP address.

Set up remote access for your network storage in three steps

Three steps are essentially needed to overcome the hurdles described above so that you can make your network storage accessible on the internet. These are: determine the internal IP address of your NAS system, open appropriate ports for access from the internet, and use DDNS to ensure that your router remains accessible for requests from the internet despite the public IP address changing.

1. Determine the fixed IP address for the NAS system

The internal IP addresses of your network are assigned by the DHCP server of your router. Generally, each network device receives the same IP address. To do so, your router permanently stores the MAC address of the network device together with the first assigned IP. Allocating dynamic IP addresses within the local area network is normally only done when your home or work network has more network devices than IP addresses on the router.

2. Open ports for remote access

A pre-requisite for remote access to your network storage is that you configure the firewall on your router so that it allows certain requests from the internet.

  • The router’s port that is to be opened (known as ‘Public Port’ , ‘External Port’, or ‘Inbound Service’, depending on the device and manufacturer)
  • The private IP address of the network device to which data packets are to be redirected (also ‘Private IP’ or ‘Internal IP’)
  • The port on which the network device is to receive the data packets (‘Private Port’ or ‘Internal Port’)
  • The protocol type to be used for data transmission (‘Type’)

3. Set up a dynamic DNS service

A dynamic DNS provides a proven method of making a router permanently accessible over the internet. This is an intermediary service, which is often offered free of charge by various providers on the internet. To use a dynamic DNS, register with a DDNS provider and set up a kind of pseudo-domain, which automatically redirects all requests to the current dynamic IP address of your router. The basic principle is the following: whenever your router is assigned a new dynamic IP address by the ISP, the router automatically reports the change of address to the DNS service. The current dynamic IP address is linked to the static pseudo domain. In order to access your network memory via the internet, you only need to know the static internet address and not the IP address that changes daily.

How to access the System folder

How To Access System Storage On Mac

Apple prefers to hide folders that could be at risk from viruses and cyber-attacks. Not only that but if an inexperienced Mac user were to make a mistake — or delete something important — native or downloaded (third-party) applications could stop working. Therefore, it is safer if certain folders, such as the Library and/or System folder, remain hidden.

Access the System folder using Terminal

How to access system storage on mac computer
  1. Launch Terminal; which you can find in /Applications/Utilities
  2. Enter this command in Terminal: chflags nohidden ~/System
  3. (If nothing shows up under that name, try /Library as an alternative)
  4. Click Return. Make sure the command is executed.
  5. Quit Terminal. The System folder should be visible in the Finder.
  6. If you ever want to restore this to how it was before, enter the following command in Terminal: chflags hidden ~/System
  7. Click Return again, and it should be back to how it was.

How to see Mac system files in Finder

Only attempt this method if you are comfortable using Terminal and have used it before. This method will make the folder permanently visible, so if you’d prefer it was only temporary, there is another way — for those using Mac OS X (or macOS) Mavericks and later.

  1. Open a Finder window and go to your Home folder.
  2. Within the Finder menu, click View > Show View Options.
  3. Place a checkmark next to Show System or Library Folder.

How To Access System Storage On Mac Os

And that should give you quick temporary access to the System folder. However, you may need to do that again after accessing it as Apple prefers to keep this hidden.

How to access System Preferences?

Now, if you aren’t looking for complete control of the apps on your Mac, there is another way to modify how everything operates. Wild magic read online.

  1. Go to the Apple Menu.
  2. Find System Preferences. Or you can access this through Siri, Finder, or the Applications Folder.
  3. Within System Preferences, you can make a wide range of top-level system changes without needing to access anything hidden through Terminal or the Finder.

How To Access System Storage On Macbook Air

With this level of behind-the-scenes access, you can make improvements to the performance of your Mac. Delete apps that take up too much space. Customize how your macOS looks. If your Mac isn’t performing as well as you would like, gaining access to System and Library folders is one of the best ways to regain the speed and efficiency you once enjoyed.

Two more tricks to unlock Mac system folders

There’s a special keyboard shortcut that displays the protected folders in Finder. All you need to do is to press:

Shift + Command + Period character

How To Check Storage On Mac

Another way to unlock the hidden space is to download the tool I often recommend, CleanMyMac X. It has the so-called Space Lens feature that builds the interactive map of your storage. You will see lots of folders you rarely get to visit, like Movies, Application cache, etc.
Download the app’s free edition here.
Now you can explore the space ‘bubbles,’ zoom on hidden files and folders, and delete them right on the spot. A good way to free up space when you need it. Here is the System Folder as viewed from the Space Lens:

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store