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I recently needed to restore my Mac (10.6.8 v1.1) from a backup and while the machine is stable and intact, a scattering of files have incorrect permissions in my user account which is interfering with some operations.

I have looked through directories manually in the Finder and corrected those I have seen but I would like to search the user directory for files whose permissions does not include me (admin).

Is there a tool or command that searches a directory on the basis of a permissions setting in this way?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Open Terminal.app and enter the following to find all files you are not the owner of:

find ~ ! -user danielbeck

(If your username is danielbeck — run whoami to find out your user name)

You can use the -group groupname argument similarly, but you should be the owner of most files in your home directory first to have everything work well.


Or, to make you the owner of all files in your home directory:

sudo chown -R danielbeck ~

I don't recommend this if you use FileVault. It's a bit of a sledgehammer method. Try searching first.

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That is fantastic, terminal returned a list which I can use to fix the ones that remain. Many thanks. –  Joel M. Sciamma Oct 19 '11 at 18:25

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