Restoring an item from a hidden folder

This documentation is for an older version of CCC. You can find the latest version here.
Last updated on October 23, 2019

This article is primarily written for users running macOS Yosemite or El Capitan. If you are running macOS Sierra or later, simply press Command+Shift+Period ( Shift  . ) to toggle the Finder's display of hidden items, then you can easily navigate to the hidden items in the Finder and restore those items via drag and drop.

Usually it's easiest to restore a single item from your backup by simply dragging it from the backup volume to your original source volume. Sometimes, though, it's not that easy. Suppose, for example, that you have inadvertently deleted all of your Safari bookmarks. The Safari Bookmarks file is stored in a hidden folder within your home directory, and the fact that this folder, and the folder on the backup volume are both hidden makes accessing that file in the Finder quite difficult. The steps below demonstrate how to restore this item from your Carbon Copy Cloner backup volume.

Quit Safari

Before you restore any files that are referenced by a particular application, you should quit that application first.

Quit Safari

Open CCC and create a new task

Rather than making changes to your usual backup task, click the "+" button to create a new task. You can delete the task when you're done.

Create new restore task

Select your backup volume as the source

Click on the Source selector and choose your backup volume as the source.

Select backup volume as the source

Choose "Some Files..." from the Clone popup menu

We don't want to restore everything, so choose the "Some Files..." option in the Clone popup menu.

Choose Selected Files popup menu option

Exclude everything by default

We're only restoring a single item, so change the task filter's default behavior to "Exclude everything by default".

Deselect everything

Navigate to the desired folder and select the item you would like to restore

Start opening disclosure triangles next to the folders that you would like to descend into until you reach the item you want to restore. In this case, the path is Users > apple > Library > Safari. The Library folder is hidden in the Finder, but CCC makes it visible here so you can restore items from it.

Navigate to the desired folder

Check the box next to the item you want to restore. Bookmarks.plist is the file we're trying to restore in this case.

Select the volume to restore to as the destination

In this case, we want to restore the item back to the startup disk, so choose Macintosh HD from the destination selector. When you select your startup disk as the destination, CCC will produce a stern warning about restoring files to the startup disk. To prevent accidentally restoring system files to an active startup disk, CCC will explicitly exclude system files from this restore task. In this case, we can ignore the dialog because we already excluded everything except for the single file.

Select the item you would like to restore

Click the Clone button

This restore task will go really quickly, and when it's done you can open Safari to verify that your bookmarks have been restored.

Click the Clone button