While OS X includes password security to prevent unauthorized changes to both system settings and access to your Mac, these features should not intrude on your standard workflow. When you log in to your Mac, for the most part you should be able to work password free, so if you are constantly met with requests to authenticate when managing files, or are denied access to an action you are attempting to perform, then something is likely wrong.
These actions include moving files, renaming files, and opening specific directories, but sometimes may not be global in nature. For instance, you might be able to edit the files in a directory with various programs, but despite this access, may have to authenticate when deleting the files or moving them from this directory.
There are basically two approaches you can take for fixing this issue: directly and globally. If you have only one file or folder that is giving you these problems, then you can tackle it through the direct route:
- Select the file or folder in the Finder.
- Press Command-i to get information on the item.
- Click the lock to authenticate, if needed.
- Expand the Sharing & Permissions section.
- Ensure your username is listed (click the plus symbol and add it, if not).
- Click the gear menu and choose the option to apply the settings to enclosing items.
This approach is best for specific folders and subdirectories that you have created in your account, such as those on your Desktop, or those in your various account folders (ie, Documents, Movies, Music, etc.). For most intents and purposes, the only thing that matters is that files within these folders are fully readable by you. Note this does not apply to your home folder itself, your account’s hidden Library folder, or to system folders, so be sure to not apply this procedure to any files or folders that encompass these areas.
The second approach is to use a global route for adjusting permissions to ensure you have access where needed. Even though Apple supplies Disk Utility with its “Repair Permissions” routines, note that these are specific for system files and some applications you install, and will not affect your home folder’s permissions settings. To perform a global reset on your home folder’s permissions, you need to use another approach:
- Reboot your Mac and hold Command-R to enter Recovery Mode.
- Choose Terminal from the Utilities menu.
- Enter the command “resetpassword” (all one word, and lowercase).
- Select your hard drive in the tool that pops up.
- Select your user account from the drop-down menu.
- Click the button to reset home folder permissions.
This routine will not fix all permissions on all folders, but will ensure the core folders required for your account to function are properly accessible. This may fix any problems you have with files directly in the default home folder directories that were created with your account. When done, reboot your Mac to test the effect of this proceedure.