How to Recursively Assign Permissions in OS X

How to Recursively Assign Permissions in OS X
How to Recursively Assign Permissions in OS X

I was tagging files while logged into OS X as a temporary user and when I changed a file a window popped up saying, “Finder wants to make changes.  Type your password to allow this.”  I figured out the reason I was getting this-my temporary user did not have write permissions on the files I was trying to change.  I could change the permissions one file at a time but I wanted to change permissions on all the files and folders inside.  I figured out how and follow along as I show you how to recursively assign permissions in OS X…

Hardware:

  • Any Mac Running OS X

Software:

  • OS X 10.X

How to Recursively Assign Permissions in OS X

This article is a result of me trying to solve a problem of the Finder lagging and giving me the beach ball when I would tag files.  You can read that article here: How to Fix Finder Hangs When tagging Files in OS X.  If you want to learn how to change all the permissions in a folder, follow along…

Step 1: Select the Folder you want to change the permissions in Finder.

For me I waned to add my temporary user with read and write access to every file and folder inside the folder called “Picture Scans New.”  Here you can see that I’ve selected that folder in the Finder:

Select the Folder that Contains all the files and folders you want changed
Select the Folder that Contains all the files and folders you want changed

Step 2: Get Info on the selected folder.

The easiest way to “Get Info” on a file is to use the keyboard shortcut command-i.

The "Get Info" Window
The “Get Info” Window

Step 3: Click on the arrow to expand the “Sharing & Permissions:” section.

Click the arrow to expand the Sharing & Permissions Section
Click the arrow to expand the Sharing & Permissions Section

Now you will see the permissions section:

Permissions and Sharing Section Expanded
Permissions and Sharing Section Expanded

Step 4: Unlock the settings.

Click on the “lock” icon and enter your password to unlock the “Sharing & Permissions” section.

Click the unlock icon
Click the unlock icon

Step 5: Add your user to the Sharing & Permissions section.

(5a) Click the + icon in the lower left corner of the window and (5b) select your user.  (5c) Click the “Select” button to add the username to the preferences.

Add your username to the privileges
Add your username to the privileges

Step 6: Add Write privileges to your username.

Click on the privilege next to your username and select “Read & Write” from the drop-down list.

Add Read & Write privileges to your username
Add Read & Write privileges to your username

Step 7: Apply these permissions to all the files and folders inside the folder.

Click on the gear icon at the bottom of the window and select “Apply to enclosed items…”

Select "Apply to enclosed items..." from the drop-down menu
Select “Apply to enclosed items…” from the drop-down menu

You will then get the menu pictured below.  Click “Ok” to apply the selected owner, group, and permissions to all the enclosed items…

Click yes to apply the permissions to all enclosed items.
Click yes to apply the permissions to all enclosed items.

Now you will not get the authentication menu every time you try changing one of the files in this folder.

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