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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