Repair disk permissions with Disk Utility

In OS X Yosemite and earlier, Disk Utility can repair file permissions on a startup disk.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Permissions are file settings that affect the ability to read, write or execute (open or run) the file. If a file's permissions are no longer set correctly, software that uses the file might not work correctly. You can see a file's permissions in the Sharing & Permissions section of its Get Info window

Beginning with OS X El Capitan, system file permissions are automatically protected. It's no longer necessary to verify or repair permissions with Disk Utility.

Follow these steps in OS X Yosemite or earlier:

  1. Open Disc Utility, which is in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
  2. Select the startup disk from the list of volumes.
  3. Click the First Aid tab.
  4. To check permissions, click Verify Disk Permissions. To repair permissions, click Repair Disk Permissions.

Disk Utility checks a file's permissions only if the file has a corresponding receipt in /var/db/receipts. The receipt tells Disk Utility what the permissions should be. Not all installers include a receipt with the files they install.


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