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How To Repair Your Boot Disk's Permissions

Article ID = 7
Article Title = How To Repair Your Boot Disk's Permissions
Article Author(s) = Graham Needham (BH)
Article Created On = 20th May 2011
Article Last Updated = 10th December 2015
Article URL = http://www.macstrategy.com/article.php?7

Article Brief Description:
A step by step guide on how to repair your boot disk's permissions

Repair Boot Disk Permissions

Every file and folder on your hard disk has a set of "permissions". In simplistic terms, these tell the computer whether you, the operating system software or another application has the ability to read, write, change and/or delete the file or folder. Sometimes the standard set of permissions can get messed up (especially when installing third party software/software updates) so through Apple's Disk Utility you can "repair" these permissions.
NOTE: With the introduction of System Integrity Protection (SIP) (OS X 10.11 or later) the need to repair permissions has been greatly reduced as the operating system now automatically maintains permissions and also the act of installing a system software update will automatically repair permissions too. If you are running OS X 10.11 or later please see these instructions.

Repair Disk Permissions (OS X 10.10 or earlier)

NOTE: If you are running OS X 10.11 or later please see these instructions.
  1. Go to Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
  2. Select your boot disk hard disk icon in the top left e.g. "Macintosh HD".
  3. Click on the 'First Aid' tab at the top.
  4. Click on the "Repair Disk Permissions" button.
  5. When this has finished quit the Disk Utility application.
NOTE: If you have Mac OS X 10.5.x (Leopard), 10.6.x (Snow Leopard) or 10.7.x (Lion) repairing disk permissions can take from 2-10 minutes - please be patient. Disk Utility - Repairing Disk Permissions

Repair Disk Permissions While Booting From An Alternate OS X Hard Disk Or Partition

  1. Boot your computer from the alternate Mac OS X hard disk or partition.
  2. NOTE: The two basic versions of Mac OS X that you are booting from and that you are reparing must be the same. So if you are repairing a 10.6.x drive you must boot from a 10.6.x drive.
  3. Go to Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
  4. Select the disk icon in the top left of the drive you want to repair permissions on e.g. "Macintosh HD".
  5. Click on the 'First Aid' tab at the top.
  6. Click on the "Repair Disk Permissions" button.
  7. When this has finished quit the Disk Utility application.
NOTE: If you have Mac OS X 10.5.x (Leopard), 10.6.x (Snow Leopard) or 10.7.x (Lion) repairing disk permissions can take from 2-10 minutes - please be patient.

Repair Disk Permissions While Booting From A Mac OS X Install Disc

NOTE: According to Apple, when possible, disk permissions should be repaired while started up from a Mac OS X volume (hard disk) that contains Mac OS X (see instructions above), instead of a Mac OS X install disc. Mac OS X software updates may change permissions on some files to improve security. When this occurs, the version of Disk Utility on the Mac OS X volume is updated to account for the new permissions. Running Disk Utility while started from the Mac OS X volume ensures that the changes made by software updates are preserved.
  1. Boot your computer from your Mac OS X install disc.
  2. NOTE: The two basic versions of Mac OS X that you are booting from and that you are reparing must be the same. So if you are repairing a 10.6.x drive you must boot from a 10.6.x install disc. NOTE: There are several ways to boot from a Mac OS X install disc:
    1. Insert your install disc, restart your computer and hold down the "c" key (recommended).
    2. Insert your install disc, go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Startup Disk and select the install disc, then restart your computer.
    3. Insert your install disc, restart your computer and hold down the "alt" (option) key, select the install disc, click the up or right arrow.
  3. Select your required language.
  4. Don't install Mac OS X but instead go to the Utilities menu and select "Disk Utility".
  5. Select the disk icon in the top left of the drive you want to repair permissions on e.g. "Macintosh HD".
  6. Click on the 'First Aid' tab at the top.
  7. Click on the "Repair Disk Permissions" button.
  8. When this has finished quit the Disk Utility application and restart your computer normally.
NOTE: If you have Mac OS X 10.5.x (Leopard), 10.6.x (Snow Leopard) or 10.7.x (Lion) repairing disk permissions can take from 2-10 minutes - please be patient.

Repair Disk Permissions (OS X 10.11 or later)

  1. Boot your computer in Recovery Mode.
  2. At the 'OS X Utilities' window select "Disk Utility".
  3. Click on the 'First Aid' button at the top.
  4. Select your boot disk on the left.
  5. Click the "Repair Disk" button.
  6. Click the "Run" button at the confirmation request.
  7. When this has finished quit the Disk Utility application and reboot.
Alternatively, you could download and install the free third party utility Onyx that has a repair permissions feature (make sure you download the correct version of Onyx for the version of OS X you have installed).

Article Keywords: OSX 103 Panther 104 Tiger 105 Leopard 106 Snow 107 Lion 108 Mountain 109 Mavericks 1010 Yosemite 1011 ElCapitan 1012 Sierra

This article is © MacStrategy » a trading name of Burning Helix. Apple, the Apple logo, and Mac are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.


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