filecopypermission

How to drag items to your hard drive without being challenged for a password

Reader Terry Bone is bone-tired of entering her password when attempting to move a file to her hard drive. She writes:

I just got a new MacBook Pro with Mavericks and noticed that now if I want to drag a file onto the hard drive I have to type my password and type it again if I want to remove it. I do this frequently in order to make files available to transfer online to a PC. Is there a way to turn that off so I can transfer files in and out of the hard drive without the additional step of entering a password?

First, some background. With Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) and later, Apple made the startup drive system-owned. You can see this in action by selecting your startup drive in the Finder, pressing Command-I, and then gandering down at the bottom of the resulting Info window (in the Sharing & Permissions area). You’ll see that the first entry is system followed by wheel and then everyone. system has Read & Write permissions while wheel and everyone are marked Read Only. Navigate to the Documents folder inside your user folder, perform this same Command-I trick, and your name will appear as the top entry in this area and you’ll have Read & Write permissions.

The upshot of this is that when you drag a file on top of your startup drive’s icon, you’ll be asked to authenticate this action with your username and password. And you will be because you’re you and not system.

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Add yourself as a user and give that user Read & Write permissions.

Fortunately, there are a couple of things you can do about this. The first is that you can muscle your way past this restriction by selecting your hard drive, pressing Command-I, and clicking on the Lock icon and entering your password when it’s demanded. Then click on the small Plus (+) button in the bottom left corner of the Info window and in the sheet that appears, click on your user name, and click the Select button. A new entry that bears your user name will appear in the Sharing & Permissions area. Click on Read Only and change it to Read & Write. You will now be able to drag items to the hard drive without having your ID checked at the door.

Alternatively, instead of adding a new user you can select the everyone entry and change its permissions to Read & Write.

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