I learned recently that every time you install an update to Mac OS X, like a free downloadable security update, it is always a good idea to repair your disk permissions. (I think I read this in a recent issue of MacAddict.) After installing an update today, I did this, and sure enough– a bunch of permissions were set incorrectly and had to be fixed.

Unlike running the disk repair utility, you don’t need to boot up your Mac OS X computer in a special way (like from a system CD) to repair permissions. Just go to the Applications folder, Utilities folder, and run Disk Utility. Click on your hard drive, and click the icon Repair Permissions.

Another alternative is to use the free / open source AppleJack software program. With it, you can boot to the Linux “single user mode” and repair permissions as well as take care of other regular disk maintenance tasks. These should be done periodically, at least one per month as a rule of thumb. By performing these regular maintenance tasks, your Mac OS X computer should run faster and more efficiently.

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3 Responses to Repairing Permissions

  1. Wesley Fryer says:

    Hmmm, thanks for that link Tom. I repair permissions all the time on my machine (regularly) and I am sure it is a good thing to do as regular maintenance. Thanks for the cross-link, people may want to skip the permissions repair idea and just apply the security update.

  2. Devin Henley says:

    I would stongly suggest you repair before and after any install! Why take the risk, it only takes a few minutes.
    Does Apple say you need t? No Does it hurt? No.

    If you trust Apple in telling you how to preform an update, then there is no need to unplug you 1394 device. But leaving it pluged in and doing cetain system updates will make the drive unusable.

    What Apple does state is to preform a back-up, and any good system admin knows this. Do you do it? I would say most don’t. Heck even I don’t.

    Running the repair permission from the running system will not correct every thing every time, this holds true for applejack. You still need to boot from the CD to repair permissions.

    Now only if Apple would make a roll back option for updates, Somthing I love on Windows.

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