Components of the Macintosh System Folder

The classic Macintosh system folder requires certain files and directories in order to function properly.

Sysfol.png Core System Files

System Enablers

A system enabler file is placed in the root of the System Folder and is required on certain Macintosh models, typically when the Mac OS version is older than the hardware. A 1994 list of required system enablers can be found at Latest System Enablers List (June 1994).

Misc Files

  • Clipboard
  • MacTCP DNR
  • Scrapbook File

Applemenuitems.png Apple Menu Items

  • Alarm Clock
  • Apple System Profiler
  • Calculator
  • Chooser (Macintosh system software)
  • Find File - Under System 7.x versions, this appears to be a more advanced find function than the internal Finder version. Seems integrated into the new Finder as of Mac OS 8.0.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle
  • Key Caps
  • Note Pad
  • Puzzle
  • Scrapbook - Allows you to drop content such as images or sound into your scrapbook for storage and later use.
  • Stickies

Appsupport.png Application Support

Third-party software may place files and folders in this area. A default install of Mac OS may leave this empty.

Csmodules.png Control Strip Modules

These plugins are used by the Control Strip control panel for added functionality. A typical installation of early Mac OS 8.x may include the following modules:

  • AppleTalk Switch
  • Battery Monitor
  • CDStrip
  • File Sharing Strip
  • HD Spin Down
  • Monitor BitDepth
  • Monitor Resolution
  • Power Settings
  • Sleep Now
  • Sound Volume
  • SoundSource Strip
  • Video Mirroring

Controlpanels.png Control Panels

  • Appearance (Macintosh system software) - Provides settings for the new "Copland" appearance which was introduced in Mac OS 8.0.
  • Apple Menu Options
  • AppleTalk - Part of Open Transport, replaces existing "Network" control panel for selecting which physical network to use with AppleTalk.
  • Auto Power On/Off
  • AutoRemounter
  • Brightness
  • Button Disabler
  • Cache Switch - Allows you to enable/disable cache on Motorola 68040 processors for compatibility reasons.
  • CloseView
  • ColorSync System Profile - Part of the ColorSync software.
  • Color
  • Configuration Manager
  • Control Strip
  • Date & Time
  • Desktop Patterns
  • Desktop Pictures - Found in early MacOS 8.x, later bundled into Appearance control panel.
  • Easy Access
  • Editor Setup - Configures editors for OpenDoc.
  • Energy Saver
  • Extensions Manager
  • File Sharing Monitor
  • File Sharing - This is the later Mac OS control panel for AppleShare configuration, essentially replacing the existing "Sharing Setup" control panel.
  • General Controls
  • Keyboard
  • Labels
  • Launcher
  • Mac OS Easy Open
  • Macintosh Easy Open - As seen in System 7.5 but renamed to "Mac OS Easy Open" in later Mac OS releases.
  • MacTCP - Provides TCP support prior to the introduction of Open Transport.
  • Map
  • Memory
  • Modem
  • Monitors
  • Monitors & Sound - Combination of the older "Monitors" and "Sound" control panels as of early Mac OS 8.x.
  • Mouse
  • Network - Allows you to switch your AppleTalk network between installed physical networks such as LocalTalk or EtherTalk.
  • Numbers
  • OpenDoc Setup - Configuration for starting and stopping OpenDoc.
  • PC Exchange
  • Power Macintosh Card
  • PowerBook
  • PowerBook Display - This will typically have a space in front of the name to prioritize loading. Configures external monitor settings for PowerBook laptops.
  • PowerBook Setup
  • PPP - Part of the Open Transport/PPP software package.
  • QuickTime Settings - Basic configuration options for the QuickTime software.
  • Screen
  • Serial Switch
  • Sharing Setup - Configuration for file/application sharing with AppleShare, integrated into "File Sharing" control panel in later OS releases.
  • Sound
  • Speech
  • Startup Disk - Select between present disks/partitions for Mac OS boot assuming a valid system folder exists on selected volume.
  • TCP/IP - Provides TCP support under Open Transport, replacing MacTCP.
  • Text
  • Token Ring
  • Trackpad
  • Users & Groups - Access control for file/application sharing with AppleShare.
  • Views
  • WindowShade

Contextualmenu.png Contextual Menu Items

This folder is used for plugins to add features to contextual menus as provided by the Contextual Menu Extension. A default Mac OS install may not have anything in this directory. Example plugins include:

  • ArchiveCM - Part of the StuffIt software suite.
  • Magic Menu CM Plugin - Part of the StuffIt software suite.

Editors.png Editors

This folder contains editors used by the OpenDoc software. When installing OpenDoc parts, the editors are placed in this folder. An example would be the Cyberdog editor.

Extensions.png Extensions

  • 040 VM Update
  • 630 SCSI Update
  • A/ROSE
  • Appearance Extension - Part of Mac OS 8.0 release but later integrated into the system leaving only the Appearance control panel.
  • Apple 10/100 Fast Ethernet
  • Apple Built-In Ethernet - Apple Ethernet driver for on-board hardware. This extension name seems to have been used after Mac OS 8.x or so.
  • Apple CD-ROM
  • Apple Ethernet CS - Provides a driver for Apple Comm Slot Ethernet cards.
  • Apple Ethernet CS II
  • Apple Ethernet NB - Provides a driver for Apple NuBus Ethernet cards.
  • Apple Guide
  • Apple Photo Access
  • AppleScript
  • AppleScriptLib
  • AppleShare - Chooser extension for connecting to AppleShare servers via AppleTalk.
  • Caps Lock
  • Catalog Extension - Part of the PowerTalk software.
  • Clipping Extension
  • Color Picker
  • ColorSync
  • Contextual Menu Extension
  • Desktop Printer Extension
  • Desktop Printer Spooler
  • Desktop PrintMonitor
  • EM Extension - This extension will have a blank space in front of the name causing it to load first. Used with the "Extensions Manager" control panel to enable/disable components.
  • ENET Compatibility - Ethernet related driver, part of System 7.5 and likely others within the 7.x versions.
  • Ethernet (Built-In) - Ethernet driver for on-board hardware. Seen in versions of System 7.x though this may have changed names to "Apple Built-In Ethernet" by around Mac OS 9.
  • EtherTalk Phase 2
  • File Sharing Extension - Part of AppleTalk networking under early System 7.x versions.
  • File Sharing Library
  • Find File Extension
  • Finder Scripting Extension
  • Foreign File Access
  • GXGraphics - Part of QuickDraw GX
  • High Sierra File Access
  • IIci/IIsi Monitors Extension
  • ISO 9660 File Access
  • LC Monitors Extension
  • MacinTalk 3
  • MacinTalk Pro
  • Macintosh Guide
  • Mailbox Extension - Part of the PowerTalk software.
  • Network Extension - Part of AppleTalk networking under early System 7.x versions.
  • ObjectSupportLib
  • Open Transport
    • Open Tpt AppleTalk Library
    • Open Tpt Internet Library
    • Open Transport Library
    • OpenTpt Modem
    • OpenTpt Remote Access
    • OpenTpt Serial Arbitrator
    • OpenTptAppleTalkLib
    • OpenTptInternetLib
    • OpenTransportLib
  • PB 150 Modem Patch
  • PCI Network Legacy Layer
  • PCI Network Legacy Loader
  • PowerBook Monitors Extension
  • PowerPC Finder Update
  • PowerPC Monitors Extension
  • PowerTalk Extension - Part of the PowerTalk software.
  • PowerTalk Manager - Part of the PowerTalk software.
  • Printer Share
  • PrintMonitor
  • Quadra AV Monitors Extension
  • Quadra Monitors Extension
  • QuickDraw 3D
    • Apple QD3D HW Driver
    • Apple QD3D HW Plug-In
    • QuickDraw 3D IR
    • QuickDraw 3D RAVE
    • QuickDraw 3D Viewer
  • QuickTime
    • QuickTime MPEG Extension
    • QuickTime Musical Instruments
    • QuickTime PowerPlug - This extension provides PowerPC enhancements to QuickTime.
    • QuickTime VR
  • Shared Code Manager
  • Shared Library Manager
  • Shared Library Manager PPC
  • SOMobjects for Mac OS
  • Sound Manager
  • Speech Manager
  • System Update - Part of System Update 3.0 addition for System 7.1.
  • SystemAV
  • Text Encoding Converter
  • TokenTalk Phase 2
  • TokenTalk Prep
  • UDF Volume Access
  • Video Startup
  • °AppleVision


This is a directory found inside the Extensions folder and contains the various voices being used by the MacinTalk software.

Fonts.png Fonts

Since System 7.1, fonts have been stored in the dedicated Fonts folder. A default Mac OS install will include a handful of fonts, and you can place additional fonts in this folder.

Help.png Help

Prefs.png Preferences

Scripting.png Scripting Additions

This folder contains modules for AppleScript to assist in creating scripts. Previous to Mac OS 8.x, this folder was located inside the Extensions folder.

Shutdownitems.png Startup Items

Items in this folder are automatically executed after the Finder has loaded. This may be any application or document, and the system will treat it as if you were just double-clicking on it in the folder.

Shutdownitems.png Shutdown Items

Items in this folder are executed before the Finder fully unloads during a restart or shutdown. This may be any application or document, and the system will treat it as if you were just double-clicking on it in the folder. As the system is about to shutdown, usage for this might be limited to things such as data backup scripts or "exit" sounds.

Textenc.png Text Encodings

See Also