Hard drive appears as locked on Mac


When trying to access a hard drive you notice that it’s icon has a locked padlock on it.
Right clicking the drive and selecting ‘Get Info’ displays the permissions as Custom. Attempting to change them may have no effect.


Choose a solution by selecting a tab below:

Step By Step

  1. Press cmd + Space to bring up a search.
  2. Type Terminal and press Enter.
  3. In Terminal, type in the following (depending on your drive name) and press Enter:
    “sudo chflags nouchg /Volumes/Drive_Name”
    If your drive name has a space in it then you will need to type a space as “\ ”
    For example: “/Volumes/Drive\ Name”.
  4. You will need to enter your password and press Enter.
    • It won’t show any characters when you type.
    • If you do not have a password then set one first.
  5. Now type in the following and press Enter:
    sudo chmod 1775 /Volumes/Drive_Name
  6. The lock should now be removed. Do this for every drive that appears as locked.
  7. Find your home folder and right click it, then select Get Info.
  8. Look under the Sharing & Permissions section. If the padlock is locked then click it, enter your password if you have one and click OK.
  9. Click the + button, click on your username and click Select.
  10. Click on your name in the list.
  11. Click the cog like icon, then click Make (Me) the owner.
  12. Click the cog like icon, then click “Apply to enclosed items”.
  13. You will be asked “Are you sure…”. Click OK to confirm.
  14. Once done, click the padlock to lock the changes.


  1. Open Terminal.
  2. Put in the following (depending on the name of the drive):
    sudo chflags nouchg /Volumes/Drive_Name
    sudo chmod 1775 /Volumes/Drive_Name
  3. Make your current user account the owner of your home folder.


  1. SOOOO glad I found this!

    The “tech” at my local Mac store simply said “Dunno, I guess you’ll have to format it and re-load everything from a backup”.

    Thank you!!!!!

  2. THANK YOU!!
    I’ve been hosing around for two days trying to get back into a 6T raid array with my companies info on it.
    You saved my butt.

  3. follow the step untill step4 can’t continue…original don’t have password. key anyone also no use. Please give advise immediately, tq.

  4. after i typed ‘sudo chmod 1775’ it says:
    chmod: Unable to change file mode on /Volumes/HD: Read-only file system
    any idea how to fix this? thanks in advance

  5. Brilliant but make sure to leave a space before the forward slash or it won’t work. Thanks a million. Any terminal commands to get my hair back?!

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