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iTunes: Missing folder or incorrect permissions may prevent authorization

Symptoms

With Mac OS X, the Shared folder is required to authorize your iTunes Store purchases. With Windows the iTunes folder is also required. If either of these folders are missing or have incorrect folder permissions, you may notice one of the following symptoms:

  • You are unable to complete a purchase from the iTunes Store.
  • You are told that you do not have permission to modify your iTunes Media folder when downloading from the iTunes Store.
  • You cannot play content you purchased from the iTunes Store.
  • An alert appears with the following text:
    "There was an error storing your authorization information on this computer. The required directory was not found or has a permission error."

Resolution

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Mac OS X

  1. Log in to your computer using an administrator account.
  2. In the Finder, choose Go to Folder from the Go menu.
  3. Type: "/Users" (without quotes) and click Go.

If the Shared folder exists

  1. Open Terminal (found in /Applications/Utilities).

    Warning: This step involves modifying permission settings by entering commands in the Terminal application. Users unfamiliar with Terminal and UNIX-like environments should proceed with caution. The entry of incorrect commands may result in data loss or unusable system software. Improper alteration of permissions can result in reduced system security or exposure of private data. This option requires a non-blank admin password.

  2. Depending on which version of Mac OS X you have, this step will vary. When entering the command, make sure to use a capital R:
    • On Mac OS X v10.5.8 and earlier, type:

      sudo chmod -R 777 /Users/Shared

    • On Mac OS X v10.6 or later, type:

      sudo chmod -R 1777 /Users/Shared

  3. Press Return.
  4. Quit Terminal.

If the Shared folder does not exist

The following steps will recreate the Shared folder if it is missing and ensure that it has been assigned using the correct permissions.

  1. Open Terminal (found in /Applications/Utilities).

    Warning: This step involves modifying permission settings by entering commands in the Terminal application. Users unfamiliar with Terminal and UNIX-like environments should proceed with caution. The entry of incorrect commands may result in data loss or unusable system software. Improper alteration of permissions can result in reduced system security or exposure of private data. This option requires a non-blank admin password.

  2. Type or copy and paste the following command into the Terminal window:

    sudo mkdir -p /Users/Shared/

  3. Press Return.
  4. Enter your administrator account password when prompted, then press Return.
  5. Depending on which version of Mac OS X you have, this step will vary:
    • On Mac OS X v10.5.8 and earlier, type:

      sudo chmod 777 /Users/Shared

    • On Mac OS X v10.6 or later, type:

      sudo chmod 1777 /Users/Shared

  6. Press Return.
  7. Quit Terminal.

Windows

The following steps will recreate the SC Info folder if it is unusable.

Windows XP

  1. Open My Computer from the Desktop or Start menu.
  2. From the Tools menu, choose Folder Options.
  3. Click the View tab.
  4. In the "Advanced settings" pane under "Hidden files and folders," make sure that the "Show hidden files and folders" option is selected.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Navigate to the following location by either typing it into the address bar, copying and pasting it into the address bar, or clicking through the folder hierarchy listed:

    C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\

  7. Right-click the SC Info folder shown and choose Delete from the shortcut menu.
  8. Restart the computer.

Windows Vista or Windows 7

  1. Open Computer from the Start menu.
  2. From the Organize menu, choose Folder and Search Options.
  3. Click the View tab.
  4. In the "Advanced settings" pane under "Hidden files and folders," make sure that the "Show hidden files and folders" option is selected.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Navigate to the following location by either typing it into the address bar, copying and pasting it into the address bar, or clicking through the folder hierarchy listed:

    C:\ProgramData\Apple Computer\iTunes

  7. Right-click the SC Info folder shown and on the shortcut menu, choose Delete.
  8. Restart the computer.

Additional Information

Most cases of iTunes prompting you to authorize repeatedly are resolved by following iTunes repeatedly prompts to authorize computer to play iTunes Store purchases.

See Troubleshooting permissions issues in Mac OS X for more information on permissions issues.

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Last Modified: Nov 14, 2012
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  • Last Modified: Nov 14, 2012
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