Fix File Permissions In Mac Os X

Change permissions to ensure correct access to files, folders and disks.

Mac OS X allows you to change disk, file and folder permissions so that information is only accessed by people who have permission to do so. To make a folder public or private, you must have the correct access yourself, which means that your account description says “Admin.” You can then change file permissions. Certain folders in Mac OS X are automatically labeled as private. These folders display with a red minus sign in their icons. If you see this sign, you will not be able to access the contents of the folder or file without an administrator name and password.


1. Open your computer and locate the item for which you want to change permission. Hover over the item. Press the “Ctrl” button and click your mouse while the button is down to display the file information, which your Mac displays as “Get Info.” Alternately, select the item and choose “File,” then “Get Info.”

2. Click the triangle next to the Sharing & Permissions information for the item. The Sharing & Permissions tab opens. If you’re not an administrator, the padlock icon appears next to the selected item. Click the padlock icon to change the settings and enter your administrator name and password. If you are an administrator, the permissions for the disk, file or folder display.

3. Locate the username to which you want to give access to the file. Click the plus key (“+”) to see a list of names, if necessary.

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4. Choose “Make the owner” from the Action menu that pops up to make that person the owner of the file. Changing the owner of the file, folder or disk gives that person access to modify and control permissions for the item.

5. Provide appropriate permissions if you are not changing owners, entering the administrator name and password, if necessary: “Read and Write” enables opening and changing the item; “Read Only” enables only opening the item, but not changing anything; “Write Only” creates a drop box into which the person can drop files, but the person cannot open the drop box; and “No Access” removes any access to the file, disk or folder.

6. Select “Apply to enclosed items” to change permission for all items in a folder.