General Question

chromaBYTE's avatar

How can I fix my iMac's permissions?

Asked by chromaBYTE (652points) September 14th, 2008

Before you say “use repair permissions in disk utility”, I’ve already done that, and it hasn’t helped my current problem.

Back in the days when i was still a mac noob, I was (stupidly) playing around with permissions in several different user folders, thinking at the time I could make the file sharing easier between the several user accounts we have on the computer.
However, it has made things difficult in certain areas. For example, my sister can’t edit her desktop without authenticating as an administrator (even though she has an admin account). This is just one example of some of the problems I’ve been having.

Some of the folders I can fix up when needed, but I don’t know what the defaults are. I don’t want to go making things easier while compromising security at the same time.

Is there any way that I can get the user folders (such as the user root folders, desktop folders, etc.) to reset back to their defaults, without doing a full reinstall of OSX? Anyone know of any software I can use for that?

I’m going to use a full reinstall as a last resort, but my family has a lot to back up…

From what I can tell, “repair disk permissions” doesn’t effect user folders, only system folders.

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2 Answers

Spargett's avatar

What you’ll have to do is set all the folders that are giving you problems to “read and write”. That’s basically full access.

And make sure that these are set under the right user/administrator.

The repairing permissions you’re thinking of is for a totally different capacity. Like corrupted, odd permission settings the OS can weed out.

Kisa's avatar

The easiest way to check what the defaults should be, is to create a dummy user, and have a look at theirs. If I look at the folders in my home folder, the special folders (Desktop, Documents, Library etc) are all rwx/—-/—- – meaning I can read, write and traverse them, but no one else can.

The other folders (Public, Sites, and any I’ve made myself) are rwx/r-x/r-x so I can read, write and traverse, but others can only read and traverse them.

You don’t mention in your question if you’re okay with using the command line, but as long as you have admin access to your machine, it shouldn’t be too hard to put back—as long as there aren’t a bazillion user accounts on it

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