User permissions mac os x lion

OS X keeps a master list of what the permissions for each file should be. This allows the operating system to run through the files on your disk and compare their permissions with its original master list of permissions. In turn, any inadvertently altered permissions can be reverted back to their default state in case of failure. Step 1: Open Disk Utility on your Mac. Step 2: Select the disk you wish to verify permissions for in the lefthand column which lists all of your detected volumes and disks.

If necessary, click the disclosure triangle to the left of the disk icon to display the names of your volumes and partitions. Step 4: Now hit the Verify Disk Permissions button. Step 4: Click the Repair Disk Permissions button. Step 1: Open Terminal on your Mac. The repair process will begin on your default startup volume and you should see a message like this:. Regardless of using the command line method or Disk Utility, the verification and repair process will yield the same results.

Apple maintains a list of disk permission errors that can be safely ignored in a support document here. OS X uses file permissions to determine who has the right to access a file or folder. This keeps your home folder reasonably secure from prying eyes; it also explains why you can't access someone else's home folder on a shared Mac. At this point, you may think you need to run Disk Utility's First Aid, which can repair file permissions. The problem, as silly as it sounds, is that Disk Utility only repairs drive permissions on the system files located on the startup drive.

It never accesses or repairs user account files. With Disk Utility out of the picture, we must turn to another method of fixing user account file permissions. But while Permissions Reset can fix a file or folder of items, it's not a great choice for something as large as a home folder, which contains many different files with different types of permissions.

Fix file access, login, and password issues with your home folder

A better choice, if a bit more cumbersome, is Password Reset, another utility that is built into your Mac. In addition to resetting a forgotten password, you can also use Password Reset to repair file permissions on a user's home folder without actually resetting the password. Since the way to use Password Reset changed with the introduction of Lion, we will cover both the Snow Leopard If you're using FileVault 2 to encrypt the data on your startup drive, you will need to first turn FileVault 2 off before proceeding.

Once you complete the process of resetting user account permissions, you can enable FileVault 2 once again after you restart your Mac. Locate your OS X install disk and insert it into the optical drive. Restart your Mac by holding the c key while it is booting up.

This will force your Mac to start from the OS X install disk. The startup time will be a bit longer than usual, so be patient. When your Mac finishes booting, it will display the standard OS X installation process. Choose your hard drive icon at the top, then choose your user from the drop-down menu below. Do not reset the password here.

How to Change File Permissions on Mac

This may take awhile if you have a lot of files in your home folder. This should solve your permissions problems for most apps. However, it's possible you may have a few apps which had saved files with special permissions that are different from the user's default permissions like preferences or application support files.

For those apps, you may need to delete their preferences or reinstall the app. If resetting your home folder permissions doesn't work, then you may need to try restoring from a backup or transferring your data to an external drive.

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Your issues are basically the same. There is no standard for permissions for files in your home directory they all depend on their use. Fixing permissions apps and scripts and OS installs should not affect the user area at all except maybe changing the permissions on the home directory.

OS installs and most fix permissions scripts compare the permissions and owners to what is required for a clean install and this has no normal users.

If they did I would consider this as a major bug. The fix is to change the owner of the files ie use of chown on your home directory. The owner should be the new owner name. There is no general way of getting permissions back as individual files depend on there application and all apps can be different. Thus the only way is to restore from a backup before the change - do the change as per Apples notes and then chown all the files. Directories will also need execute permission so that they can be listed.

Applications will need other permissions. We have run into the same issues with several users. After unsuccessfully trying everything regarding fixing permissions, we found a solution. For the sake of clarity, the problematic user's is John Doe and the user account and home directory is called "johndoe". I'm adding a single answer to address everything. Whatever I did with the permissions, it was totally borked.


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  • Mac Troubleshooting - Reset User Account Permissions.

I tried the first answer, booting into Recovery Mode and resetting the permissions via the reset password method, but that ran for 48 hours before I killed it and had no discernable effect. I tried to restore from Time Machine and that actually blew up as well and was unable to restore the backup. I ended up backing everything up manually to an external disk, formatting the entire disk and reinstalling Lion, reinstalling everything manually, and copying my personal data, such as the iPhoto library and iTunes libraries, back manually.

Profile Cannot Be Saved To “System Level” on Mac OSX 10.7x (Lion)

Since I only copied the iTunes Media directory and not the parent directory, it seemed to fix everything. This is not a permission problem at all! Disk Utility's Reset Permissions feature doesn't affect your home directory, so it won't work here. But it also has a second , hidden permissions reset tool for your home directory.


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  7. You use it from Terminal, like this:. Sign up to join this community.