We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the System Folder?

By Solomon Branch
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The system folder refers to the folder in pre-OS X versions of the Macintosh® operating system (OS) that contains the files required for the OS to work. It is the folder that the computer looks for when booting up, and cannot start without it. The folder is usually stored in the root drive and is marked with a specific icon to identify it.

In older versions of the Mac OS, the system folder contained such things as fonts, control panels, preferences and system extensions. When the system would start, this is the folder it would look for first, as it had everything needed there to start the OS. If the folder was missing, the system could not start and would flash an icon in the shape of a disk with a question mark in it.

Normally, you would find the system folder in the root drive, the lowest level drive, but it is not necessary for it to be there; the system will look everywhere until it finds it when booting. In English versions of pre-OS X systems, the folder is named System Folder, but has different names in other languages. To avoid confusion then, the folder is identified by the OS by an identification number rather than by name.

One advantage of the system folder is that it can be moved dynamically. Even if the OS is running, the folder can be moved anywhere in the folder hierarchy, and it will not cause an issue. This information will be retained even upon restarting. This is referred to as a “blessed” folder, which simply means it is valid, works properly and will allow the system to start.

Being able to move the system folder is helpful in several ways. The main advantage is that versions of the folder that are moved or copied are also blessed. The Mac OS allows for multiple installations on one volume, so not only can you have multiple systems available to choose from when starting, you can also create backups for redundancy. Simply move a copy of the system folder to another drive, and you can boot from that drive.

The newer Mac operating systems do not have as much flexibility, but they are more secure with regard to the system folder. In older versions, the folder was relatively easier to edit and view, which could cause issues if a malicious or inexperienced user changed or removed the system files. This is not as issue in the newer versions, as the system files are spread out and not easy to edit.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.