Reset home folder permissions

Resetting the home folder permissions can resolve problems with your user account on your Mac.

With Install Disc

  1. Boot from the Mac OS X Install Disc:
    1. Insert the disc.
    2. Shut down the computer.
    3. Turn it on again whilst holding down the C key.
      You can let go when you see a spinning dial.
  2. Click through the menus until you after you’ve accepted a license agreement.
  3. Snow Leopard: At the top, click Utilities -> Reset Password.
    Lion: At the top, click Utilities -> Terminal. Type resetpassword in the Terminal and press Enter.
  4. Click on your main hard drive.
  5. In the dropdown box under “Select the user account” make sure to select your username.
  6. Underneath where it says “Reset Home Directory Permissions and ACLs”, click the Reset button.
  7. Press cmd + Q to Quit the Reset Password application. Press it again if you have a Terminal open.
  8. Click Mac OS X Installer in the top left and click Quit Mac OS X Installer.
  9. Click the Startup Disk button.
  10. Click on your main hard drive and click the Restart button.

No Disc – Snow Leopard

  1. Turn on the Mac whilst holding down cmd + S.
  2. Once the text has finished scrolling, press Enter and you will see root#.
  3. Type mount -uw / and press Enter.
  4. Type in the following (case-sensitive), pressing Enter at the end of each line.
    Replace “username” with the name of your home folder.
    chmod -R -v -N /Users/username
    chown -R -v username:staff /Users/username
    chmod -R -v 700 /Users/username
    chmod 755 /Users/username
  5. Then type reboot and press Enter.

No Disc – Lion

  1. Turn on the Mac whilst holding down cmd + R. You can let go once you see a spinning dial. You will then see the “Mac OS X Utilities” screen.
  2. On the top menu, click Utilities, then click Terminal.
  3. Type resetpassword and press Enter.
  4. Click on your main hard drive.
  5. In the dropdown box under “Select the user account” make sure to select your username.
  6. Underneath where it says “Reset Home Directory Permissions and ACLs”, click the Reset button.
  7. Press cmd + Q to quit the Reset Password application.
  8. Press cmd + Q again to quit the Terminal.
  9. Press cmd + Q one more time and click Restart.
  10. Click Mac OS X Utilities in the top left of the screen and click the Restart button.

Quick Method

This method may not be as effective as the others listed.

  1. Press cmd + Space to open the Spotlight search.
  2. Type Terminal and press Enter.
  3. In Terminal, type sudo bash and press Enter.
  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. Type in the following (case-sensitive), pressing Enter at the end of each line.
    Replace “username” with the name of your home folder.
    sudo chmod -R -v -N ~
    sudo chown -R username:staff ~
    sudo chmod -R -v 700 ~
    sudo chmod -v 755 ~
  6. Close the Terminal once it has finished.


  1. This procedure (on Lion) took care of my crashing Preview and TextEdit applications! Thanks!

  2. This procedure worked for me too. I had the same problem with Preview and Textedit crashing. Now everything seems ok. THANK YOU!

  3. Great stuff! Had been looking for a while for the proper solution to fix this. Repairing Permissions in Disk Utility didnt do the trick, this did! Thanks again!

  4. Hi GUys, this looks like the solution I need as my security settings keep reset back to the previous configuration (appears to not save). However I am running FileVault 2 so my disk is fully encrypted. This is preventing the reset password utility to see my disk, and obviously then show my account. Can you unlock an encrypted volume from Terminal? – as i could run this command followed by the reset password command.

      1. That was my suspicion – but wanted to check first before starting the decryption process. Thanks.

  5. im currently doing this for mac os lion imac 2.9mhz core i7 and its been 3hrs and its still running am i doing something wrong

  6. Thank you so much. I have searched about 2-3 days, I was about to bring into Apple Care center. I tried EVERYTHING (well almost everything).
    Finally with this walkthrough it worked for me. I looked high and low…. restarted, rebooted, deleted, trashed, restored, fixed permissions, verified, etc.
    This made everything back to normal. THANKS AGAIN!

  7. Is it safe to run the “Reset Home Directory Permissions and ACLs” on the “System Administrator (Root)” account?

    Wouldn’t I have to log in as Root to fix those permissions?

    My permissions are hosed on my volume, not just the user. Re-installing Lion over the top did not fix things.

    Any thoughts?


  8. The “Reset Home Directory Permissions and ACLs” works great to reset permissions on the user folders (but not the “shared” folder).

    My problem is broader. If I “get info” the entire volume, I get a “fetching” where “system” should be. I also show “fetching” for many sub folders not in the user home directory like the applications, library, system, shared, and utilities folders.

    Using “Repair Disk Permissions” does not help at all.

    I spent an hour on the phone with Apple, and they said they would send this to an engineer.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

    1. I’d suggest wiping the hard drive and installing Lion as a fresh install.

      Alternatively, you can try the following but would strongly suggest that you make a time machine backup first:

      Manually set the preferences for your hard drive by removing the entries and re-adding them. There should be an option as well to apply to all enclosed items. Following this, repair permissions and home permissions. After that reinstall all your third party software just to make sure the right permissions for each application is set.

      Let me know how you get on.

      1. Thanks for your reply. I think that you are right, a 100% clean install is going to be necessary.

        I tried the easy way – a clean install of Lion then used migration assistant to transfer files and apps. The permissions were fine until I transferred the apps and files, and that hosed things again. . . .

        Luckily, so far no real problems with using things as is, so I am kind of waiting for Apple to come up with a fix.

        1. I spent 45 minutes on the phone with an Apple tech doing deep, dark, terminal command voodoo. This fix came from an Apple system engineer.

          I cannot even begin to say what the actual commands were, but the gist of what finally fixed the problem of “fetching on the volume, applications folder, utilities, library, etc, was this: First booted into safe mode using command s. Then via terminal commands deleted all users but saved the user data folders. Then did many terminal commands to correct the permissions on the entire volume. Then rebooted and created a new user, then re-added my previous home folder by creating a new user using the existing home folder data.

          Everything is fixed now, sorry I cannot pass on the actual terminal commands, but it was waaay over my head. . . .

  9. I the home permissions are incorrect on a Lion Server that does not have a monitor, keyboard or mouse connected, but is only used via remote control/screen share. Is there an alternate way to achieve the user directory permissions? i.e. without having to plug all those peripherals in so I can use cmd+R?

    Thanks for any help.

    1. Try entering these commands into Terminal remotely:

      chmod -R -N /Users/username
      chown -R username:staff /Users/username
      chmod -R 700 /Users/username

      Make sure to replace username with the actual short name of the user.

  10. Fantastic, your tutorial restored the home folder permissions on my Macintosh hard drive perfectly. Very clear, concise and to the point. And professionally written. I followed your instructions to the letter and was able to recover permissions on my home folder without a hitch. Thank you for posting.

    I have a slight problem in that I need to repair folder permissions on a Western Digital My Book Studio external hard drive attached through FireWire which I accidentally deleted “staff” and need to restore it back again. I know silly mistake. I’d be grateful for any pointers in this regard. Thanks.

    1. Do the following as an administrator account. You will need to have a password set.

      1. Connect the external hard drive.
      2. Open Terminal from /Applications/Utilities
      3. Enter the following two commands and press Enter:
        sudo chgrp staff /Volumes/MyBook
        sudo chmod 777 /Volumes/MyBook
        (Make sure to replace “MyBook” with the name of the volume.)
  11. Thank you very much for the instruction. It worked. Reinserted “staff” back into the folder permissions in the Western Digital external drive. Much appreciated.

  12. My macpro is also hanging while resetting ACLs. it’s been working on it for 12 hours now.

  13. I used Migration Assistant to transfer about 200gb from one MacBook Pro to another, both running Snow Leopard, and encountered permission issues (I was forced to enter my admin password when moving files, among other annoyances). I spent hours doing research (including Reading the Fine Manual) to no avail, and was very relieved when I came across this article and a very similar one on cnet. This was short-lived, however, after repeatedly getting an “invalid argument” response after entering

    chown -R username:staff /Users/username

    in single user mode. No matter what what switches or options I added to the command, and regardless of whether I included “:staff”, no dice.

    After reading a comment responding to the cnet article, I booted normally and executed “sudo chown -R username:staff /Users/username” in terminal without issue. I then went back into single user mode and executed the final chmod command successfully. By all appearances, this procedure has been a complete success.

    I have some theories on why this worked, but I’ll leave that to the more experienced (I’d love to read a clear explanation). I hope this helps some other frustrated users. Good luck.

    1. Thanks for posting your valuable feedback. I am going to look into this and see if the process can be automated.

      This also applies for everyone else who is experiencing delays and the process hanging. I’ll be working on a solution.

  14. my computer is also hanging while resetting home folder permissions .. what to do ? cancel it with command Q or let it run indefinitely?

  15. This guy…needs a special thank you!!
    Really really thank you!!


    My kids put something in an outlet, causing the room arc-fault circuit to trip and when I rebooted my Mac, it would only load the auto login programs then completely freeze. The dock wouldn’t pop up, I couldn’t even shut down (Apple icon > shut down). It was completely unresponsive. At first I thought it was a HD failure since I also got a message on boot saying “The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer” and offering the “Initialize” button. After running a Disk Utility scan by using the boot-disk, it reported no errors doing a disk validation. I then found another link saying to try a PRAM reset. Tried that still no luck. Finally, I found this link and booted via startup disk, went to the change password screen and reset the ACL. The Mac booted right up and in fact is now running noticeably faster than it has in a long time (programs boot immediate, websites, etc.). I still haven’t had the time to read about what this process does…but it solved my problem of the OS locking up and being non-responsive. So if you have a power failure or power surge and your Mac behaves poorly, try this. Thanks again!

  17. I have the same problem. My MacMini hangs in the process I think. Or least is taking a lot of time to fix it. Yesterday I kept it for almost 2 hours till I finilly gave up and I close it. So technically it wasn’t hang because I was able to stop the process. This weekend I’ll try to wait longer although I’m not very confident that the problem will be fixed.

  18. I´m gonna give a hard try this coming weekend. I´ll leave it doing the reset for at least 12h… Let see what happens.

  19. After leaving my Mac for almost 12hours working… nothing so far. Is there a way to activate a log to see if the computer is actually working on something? THANKS!

  20. I loaded Lion to a 240GB SSD then dragged the Home folder to another drive.
    I entered the advanced function in Users & Groups to change the Home path to the new drive.

    I rebooted to commit the change and all seems well — except that some of the folders in one of the ~/Library doesn’t have the right permissions.

    When the home folder was on the same disk, the “resetpassword” fix works well. Now, with a pointer to another volume, it doesn’t.

    There is a Logical value for a disk: “Can Repair Permissions” which is set to No, save for the boot disk.

    How can I change the value of that logical? Anyone know?

  21. How would I go about resetting the permissions on a network account?

    Basically, I’m trying to migrate to a server/client setup from local machines, but don’t want to lose all my system/application preferences. I tried simply transplanting the library folder from the local account on my main machine in to the home folder of my network account and applying the relevant permissions. They seem to stick, but clearly aren’t working as if I change any preferences on that user account they’re lost when I log back out and in, basically meaning the account doesn’t have permissions to write to the library folder. What do?

  22. Excellent posting, helped resolve some ongoing problems. THANK YOU !

    I realize this post relates to fixing permissions on a Home Folder, but rather than starting a new topic, I have a related question regarding permission on an external HD. I have two large RAID volumes created a few years ago with all my data, Aperture libraries, application installers, music, documents, etc, etc. I had them set to ignore permissions up until recently, but now they are attached to a server and I need to ensure they are setup correctly. I’ve had a few issues in the past when permission were turned on, and want to know a safe, effective way to make sure the entire drive is setup correctly.

    Currently the top level of the drive is set to:
    _spotlight – Custom
    system = Read & Write
    admin = Read & Write
    everyone = No Access

    Is the what it should be?
    Am I safe simply running the “Apply to enclosed items” option?
    Anything else I should know about this situation?

    Thank you !

  23. OMG you are amazing, for real. At an office and dis something stupid, followed another post to change my permissions to the drive and no applications would open due to permission issues. This put me back in action.

  24. Had a corrupt user account. Spent much time with Apple debugging problem. Created new user account and moved all directories to that account. Once restarted into new account couldn’t see desktop or documents folders contents. Repaired permissions in disk utilities and then ran your excellently detailed steps. All seems good at this point. Thank you for your help!

  25. What should the ouput look like after typing the “chmod -R -N /Users/username” command? Mine scrolled really fast and all the lines said chmod: Failed to clear ACL on file filename. Is that what if suppose to say? thank you.

    1. This is normal behaviour. It’s not always able to remove the ACL’s from every file.

      If you want to see a list that includes successful operations as well then use “chmod -v -R -N /Users/username” instead.

  26. Thank you so much – I’d been putting up with my computer being sluggish for ages until I came across your post!

  27. Following these instructions worked, but I have had the problem about four times now. I wonder if there is a bug in Lion that makes it inherently susceptible to this problem. I have never had it in previous versions of OS X.

      1. Periodically I am unable to empty the trash because it says I don’t have permission. Generally at the same time I am also prevented from moving files from on folder to another.

        1. If you could take a screenshot of the error message then that would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you have that error with Time Machine backup files then that is standard behaviour.

  28. I tried starting the permissions repair about an hour ago and it’s still spinning. The system appears to goto sleep. There have been several other people here also wondering how long this should take… Could someone who has had this finish successfully tell us how long it took? It might also be helpful to know the size of the home folder. Should I leave this running all night?

    1. In my experience, I’ve only seen it take a few minutes or less but it depends on how many files you have stored in your home folder. Please try using the “Quick Method” and let me know if you have any problems.

  29. I tried this also after Spotlight quit working and the easy reset in System Preferences didn’t work. Spinning for an hour and then I quit. Hoping there is another way to fix this.

  30. I had used the 10.7 resetpassword and started it at around 10:30pm. I let it run until 3:00pm the next day without it completing. I ended up canceling and using the quick method, it worked in 5 min. very nice!

  31. Thank you so much. Totally worked, except I didn’t need to run chmod because I was already :staff. It would give me and invalid arguememt response. Anyways, the rest worked and now the problems seem to have gone away. FYI never boot a snow leopard machine off an external Lion drive if both have the same username… Lion will doo all that permissions screwing that will put you right back here running these commands.

  32. I just ran an upgrade to Lion server – it has the “fetching” issue, and it can’t resolve where the Owner name should be to “System”. Permissions repairs do not resolve anything and it is breaking the launch of several apps: the Server and Server Admin apps simply crash at launch, System Preferences gets a “must be reopened” error when going into the Accounts pane, after which it says it cannot access the Accounts. Even though it’s not an issue specific to a Home folder, I tried the “resetpassword” feature in the Recovery partition but the utility won’t launch, nothing happens after typing “resetpassword” in the Terminal.

    Any ideas? Network users are not able to log in – they receive and unknown user/passeord message – only the admin account can connect.

    1. It sounds like the problem lies a lot deeper than just permissions. I’m afraid to say that I think you should start with a clean install of Lion or perhaps restore a backup of the server running Snow Leopard (if you have one).

      If you really don’t want to do this, then try reinstalling Lion again.

  33. I’m a little concerned that this may have messed things up. I tried the quick method and then saw all my DropBox files re-synching. Then I tried the method for Lion with no disc but it didn’t show my main hard drive as an option, so I tried it using the Lion disc and had the same problem. After restarting again I see that Spotlight looks like it has started indexing from scratch and is telling me it will need hours to index my computer.

    At the moment the computer appears to be working OK but I’m a really uncertain now about what state everything is in. Any ideas how to verify if everything is correct? When I do a cmd + i on the main drive it says:

    system = read & write
    wheel = read only
    everyone = read only

    Then if I click on my home folder and press cmd + i it says:

    ashley (Me) = read & write
    staff = read only
    everyone = read only

    1. It sounds like you could have had a lot of issues previously with your home folder.

      Dropbox syncing and Spotlight re-indexing is likely caused by the change in permissions for many files which is fine. Also, the permissions you stated on your main drive and home folder are as they should be.

      I’m not sure why your main hard drive did not appear using the “No Disc – Lion” method. Perhaps you have FIleVault enabled on your drive.

      1. Actually it all seemed to be fine before but a friend suggested that doing this might improve the speed on any apps that seemed slower than they should do. Yes I do have FileVault enabled if that is relevant.

        Yesterday I noticed that the startup disk in system preferences was no longer giving me any options and that was obviously wrong, so I restarted the computer using cmd + s and ran Applejack, which may not be strictly indicated for Lion but it does still sort of work. Two automatic restarts followed and then I had my startup disks available again in system preferences plus Crashplan went through a checking procedure, so something had obviously been changed.

        Curiously when Time Machine ran a backup after running Applejack it wanted to backup a massive 190 gigs, which is almost the entire quantity of data on my main drive. SuperDuper! was blocked as well after running the Quick Method script but thankfully Applejack fixed that as well, so it now works normally.

        The computer is generally running well but when I booted into recovery mode it still doesn’t offer me the option of reinstalling Lion on the main drive. I also ran disk utility last night inside recovery mode and it came up with two errors that refused to go away, even though it eventually said the drive was OK.

        The two error written in red were:

        unable to bootstrap transaction group 6971: cksum mismatch
        unable to bootstrap transaction group 7689: cksum mismatch

        Everything is basically running fine from what I can tell but because of that sudden strange behaviour and these errors found now in disk utility I can’t can’t shake a nagging doubt that there is an underlying problem here that may need to be fixed.

        1. I expect that FileVault is the reason you could not select your hard drive in the Lion Recovery then.

          I would try disabling FileVault and enable journaling on your hard disk if it hasn’t been set already.

          If that doesn’t fix the errors you are getting then you could try running DiskWarrior or formatting your hard drive and installing Mac OS X again.

          I can’t comment on Crashplan, AppleJack and SuperDuper! as I have never used them.

        2. ohhh Mac os ftp that is built into the finder and acvteatid with command-k only opens a read-only connection to the server! why? I don’t know! but it’s been that way for a long time.Which dedicated ftp program do you use? I use Cyberduck (pretty simple and cool)if you really have to do it without an extra program you can start up Terminal, and use the built-in ftp command (it has no read-only restriction)

  34. I have a question regarding the “quick method”.

    In the following commands:

    chmod -R -N /Users/username
    chown -R username:staff /Users/username
    chmod -R 600 /Users/username

    the last one, won’t it remove all the x permissions from the subdirectories in the home folder?? Doesn’t that mean that I won’t be able to cd into those directories??

    1. You are referring to the old quick method. It has been updated since then so please use that instead.

      As for the third command in those that you specified, this applies the permissions to all files in the home folder so that read & write access is allowed only by you. As you will see in the current quick method, I have corrected it by changing the value 600 to 700.

  35. Hi, great tip.

    Does this work for Network Accounts – and specifically those that are Active Directory accounts?

    OS X doesn’t recognise or know about network users – can it fix home folders for them?

    (We moved some users from a (crashed) Open Directory server and bound them to a new AD domain – so clearly the users’ home folder are now in use by a different user…. if we can just fix permissions for the home folders i’m confident everythign else is working well…


    1. Sorry for the delayed reply. I would try these steps and see how it fares for you.

  36. Hi – I did a clean install today at Genius Bar and still there are items on console are greyed out and i cannot save Grab tiff files to any folder and disk permissions are not repaired in disk utility. Ran your script and got “Failed to clear ACL on file (name of file) read-only File system” my screen just went on and on with lines 1, 3, and 4 of your script – and line 2 – “chown” was said to not be ? Thanks for any help!

  37. Reset Permissions hanging; tried to reset permissions on 10.6.8 using the install DVD (Snow Leopard 10.6.3) and process was still going after more than 12hours.
    Does anyone have any other suggestions on getting this process to work?
    Have also tried the quick method but uncertain if it worked – how would I know if completed correctly?
    Thanks in advance for your time and help, it would be much appreciated!

  38. Very interesting. Very helpful solutions.

    However, for the most advanced OS (Apple’s words) – does the user community not think that it is unacceptable to have to mess around, under the bonnet, to such a degree?

    In my humble opinion, this is a mess – a user should not have to repeatedly reset permissions in the manner described above. It, surely, should be in the control of the machine’s ONLY user to have full control of everything on the Apple and HDs connected to it. Obviously, Apple do not agree – they prefer to waste long hours of frustrating time for it’s users.

  39. I have a QNAP NAS – users and permissions are set correctly.

    I have setup a user with the exact credentials of my main user account on my Mountain Lion iMac. Of course, when you look at the permissions on the folders on the NAS via Finder – all of them are Custom, my logging in account doesn’t even show. Ridiculous. Logon via a Windows machine – there are no problems whatsoever.

  40. Cmd R doesn’t work on lion on my mac. it trys to load up some internet recovery stuff instead which ive not seen before.

    1. Your Mac had detected a problem with the standard recovery and so has gone into Internet recovery mode, you should after a few clicks get to Disk Utilities but it is wise to backup your data before that in case it decides to reload your machine.
      Here a link to the apple support page for this:

  41. Someone commented earlier about using the start up disk selection feature of the recovery mode to unlock an encrypted, FileVault 2, Drive prior to using the “resetpassword” feature (within the Recovery mode’s

    I just wanted to report that this works very well. It certainly beats turning off disk encryption on your start-up volume just to access this simple feature within the recovery mode.

  42. Hi guys.

    Hello. Is there any risk of losing data if I reset home permissions? I feel a bit stuck in a vicious circle – To try to deal with performance problems with my Mac, I may have to take actions that would risk losing data if I don’t first make a backup copy. I can’t make a backup copy with Filevault activated. I can’t deactivate Filevault normally due to the Filevault bug. Before finding a way around the bug I first need to copy all my info to an external hard drive. I can’t copy my library due to a message about not having permission to access something called “RPDLAgentHelperJ” I’m concerned that the process of solving this by resetting home folder permissions may risk losing data – the very thing I’trying to avoid in the first place. More details below.

    I’m using a Mac OSX 10.6.8 and have been having various problems with very slow performance, slow startup, freezing and more recently on a couple of occasions the screen has gone black and I’ve had to force a shutdown. My hard drive is almost full and so I think this may be at least part of the problem. Before trying anything that could risk losing valuable data, I wanted to backup my file with Time Machine. But, I am using Filevault and can’t switch it off normally due to the well documented “not enough space to turn off Filevault” bug. Before I switch Filevault off using the method detailed on the apple support page (, I am trying to back up all my info by copying and pasting the content of my mac’s home drive directly to an external hard drive. However, after over an hours of copying the “Library” folder, I received a message telling me the action can’t be completed because I don’t have permission to acces RPDLAgentHelperJ.

    I have no idea what this is or how to solve it so I can copy my Library and then get on with addressing the original problem. Please could you give me some advice on how to deal with this problem?? Many thanks in advance.

  43. This was very helpful for me. After renaming my home folder (I know, bad idea…at the time, thought easy but lesson learned), my subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud stopped working and repairing disk permissions did NOT help. I knew the problem was with permissions in the Library folder and KNEW how much of a stickler Adobe was about this. I did chat with them, for over two hours, with no results and refused to deal with them so I didn’t give up and kept Googling to find this possible solution. I attempted the w No Disc – Lion option and it worked. After restart and bated breath…rejoice! I could login successfully to my account and everything activated just fine. Thank you for posting this 🙂 Pretty much saved my arse, especially since it’s not my personal computer!

  44. I really want to thank you for posting this fix. LIke some of the other people who left comments, this was the only solution that fixed the permission problems I was having with my Library folder after upgrading to OS X. I have been working on this problem for quite a while, and nothing on the official Apple forums helped at all. Thank you so much.

  45. I came to this page searching for a solution to TimeMachine taking forever to do backups. So far it seems to have solved the problem.

    I think the problem is caused by my ThunderBolt display. How is that? I live in India, we have regular power outages, I have a UPS system. When the power goes off and the UPS takes over my MBP’s display and the ThunderBolt display both go black, then blue and when after a few moments it returns to normal but everything is now shifted to one display not spread over both as before. This only happens with teh TBM my wife who doesn’t have a TBM doesn’t have any problem with MBP when it shifts to teh UPS or back. In any case this has some effect of scrambling the settings in my MBP and messing with TM.

    Thank you so much for this fix.

    Now if they could only fix the TBM so it stops behaving oddly when the UPS comes on.

  46. Great tips… thanks.

    I have been using the Quick Method. Say I am logged in as admin. On which account do all of these commands take effect? The command where the home folder is specified is obvious but for the other commands?


    1. It would do it for the admin account. To make it work for another, change “~” to “/Users/Other_Account_Name”.

  47. Thanks for these directions, they saved me from a lot of niggling issues with prefs not being kept, inability to turn on Photo Stream, that sort of thing when I had to recover from a disk failure.

    My situation is a bit different shall we say…I have a flashed Radeon 5770 for my main card and another flashed GeFOrce 9500 as secondary; neither give video until the login screen so booting from the CD was no good. Had to use your last set of directions to do this. Another wrench is that I have my Users folder on a seperate volume for recovery purposes. Your instructions worked great; with a slight modification:

    sudo chmod -R -v -N /Volumes/Users/username
    sudo chown -R username:staff /Volumes/Users/username
    sudo chmod -R -v 700 /Volumes/Users/username
    sudo chmod -v 755 /Volumes/Users/username

    replacing username with your username, of course. Did this while booted into OS X, fixed my issues straight away. THANK YOU!!!

  48. I run snow leopard and did the non disk method. After resetting all files once i types reboot (which took about 10 mins of matrix like screen scrolling) it restarted with all the problems fixed. I can now copy paste and delete files as normal

    Thank you very much for sharing your advice

  49. Hey !! i have this problem


    The directory may be locked by another process or have been set Read Only.
    Directory: ‘/Users/username’
    Please correct this problem and press OK to exit the application.

    so i did ” No – disc Lion ” method but the problem remain ..
    then i try the quick method and when i enter the first command :
    its writes this

    sudo chown -chmod: Failed to clear ACL on file App Shim Socket: Invalid argument “””

    and for the another 2 commands

    chmod: Unable to change file mode on /Users/username/… …. Standard 15.bin: Operation not permitted

    please if you have something to suggest will be nice 🙂
    (OS X version 10.8.4 )

  50. I could not use chown -R -v username:staff /Users/username, invalid argument. I had to use chown -R -v 504:staff /Users/username. When I used ls -l /Users/username I found that the user was already 504, the 4th user on the system. The other users are 501, 502, and 503. My user accounts were originally created in Tiger and I have copied over user settings with each new mac and OS upgrade. I wonder if this could be the reason. However, when booted into the account I can set permissions using the username, i.e. it exists there.

    Well, I must say this thread was a great find for me. Nothing would work without first using mount -uw /.

  51. Thank you man!

    I accidently removed my Read and Write permissions while trying to change name on my home folder. This worked and inspired me to learn more about computers. I no longer want to feel vulnerable.

  52. This fixed my problem
    “We could not complete your purchase.
    Unknown Error” in Macbook pro 15″ 2014. Thanks

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *