Skip navigation

Finder requires password for moving or deleting files every time.

66656 Views 105 Replies Latest reply: Jan 25, 2014 4:37 PM by T.S RSS
1 2 3 ... 8 Previous Next
Noleigator Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jul 24, 2011 9:30 AM

Since installing OS X Lion I have been required to enter my user password everytime I move a file from the desktop to a folder, from folder to folder, or from anywhere into the trash.  This is a nuisance.  How do I reconfigure the operating system, so that I no longer need to enter my password every time I simply wish to move a file from place to place?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7)
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,960 points)

    Sounds like you've got a permissions problem.  How did you upgrade?  Did you just install over your old SL system, or did you do what some are recommending and do a "clean install" by erasing the hard drive first?

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,960 points)

    Okay, then the question is what happened?  Open up the Terminal and paste in the following command:


    ls -al ~


    Here's a somewhat trimmed-down list of what that command shows on my machine:


    drwxr-xr-x+ 32 thomas  staff   1088 Jul 20 15:20 .
    drwxr-xr-x   5 root    admin    170 Jul 20 15:11 ..
    -rw-r--r--@  1 thomas  staff  15364 Jul 20 21:42 .DS_Store
    drwx------   2 thomas  staff     68 Jul 24 16:06 .Trash
    drwxr-xr-x  11 thomas  staff    374 Jun  9 10:29 Applications
    drwx------+ 11 thomas  staff    374 Jul 24 16:06 Desktop
    drwx------+ 24 thomas  staff    816 Jun  7 16:31 Documents
    drwx------+  5 thomas  staff    170 Jul 14 11:25 Downloads
    drwx------@ 52 thomas  staff   1768 Jul 24 11:18 Library
    drwx------+  9 thomas  staff    306 Sep 11  2010 Movies
    drwx------+  7 thomas  staff    238 Feb  7 11:18 Music
    drwx------+ 23 thomas  staff    782 Feb  4 11:33 Pictures
    drwxr-xr-x+  5 thomas  staff    170 May 22  2010 Public
    drwxr-xr-x   4 thomas  staff    136 Feb 23 09:04 Shell
    drwxr-xr-x+ 14 thomas  staff    476 May 17 19:06 Sites


    What does it show for you?  Where it says "thomas" above, you should see your short username instead, but otherwise it should be mostly the same.

  • John Hammer1 Level 4 Level 4 (2,805 points)

    Have you already tried launching Disk Utility and running a Repair Permissions?

  • SimplyMac Level 4 Level 4 (2,360 points)

    I would also advise repairing permissions.


    However, you haven't said what it was that you were trying to move/delete and from where.


    Files that will cause your Mac to ask for your password are any considered system files, that the average n00b should not be playing with in the first place. Mostly these lie outside of your home directory.


    The other ones that will prompt you, is anything downloaded from the Mac App Store. This behaviour was also present in Snow Leopard.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,960 points)

    Repairing permissions won't fix user account permission problems.  Sounds like he's having trouble with files in his user account folders, like the Desktop and .Trash folders.  Of course, it can't hurt either, it's just not likely to help.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,960 points)

    Hmm, that's puzzling.  The numbers that are different aren't what's really important.  The permissions (the parts that look like "drwxr-xr-x+"), owner and group all look fine.


    Well, despite that, I think it's probably worth trying the user permissions repair mentioned in the following post:


    Re: Corrupt user account / user folder


    However, since this was written for Leopard, I'm not sure whether it is still applicable in Lion.  Since there's no boot disk, you need to reboot from the Lion recovery partition that was created on your hard drive.  Reboot and hold down command and r together until you see the Apple logo, and that should do the equivalent of rebooting from the Leopard install disk.


    Once there, though, I'm not sure whether the same options will exist in the same place.  Let me know what you find.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,960 points)

    Errors like those are nothing to worry about.  See permissions messages you can safely ignore.


    I'll be watching this topic tomorrow, so let us know how it goes.  If it comes to a point where I can't help you further, I'll at least try to find someone else who can.

  • hallamp Calculating status...

    Hi Noleigator. I am very much a novice when it comes to macs so please take this into consideration but I was having the same issue and I seemed to have resolved it very easily so thought I would share it in the hope that it solves your problem also.


    I too updated to lion over snow leopard and was having the issue of having to put in my password every time I wanted to delete something. This lead to me think that maybe the trash folder (hidden by default in lion on my system) didn't have the right permissions. I followed instructions online to view hidden files and folders on my mac and navigated to it. After right clicking and choosing get info I noticed that I only had system (read and write access) and everyone (read access) but not "username" (read and write access) I clicked the + symbol and added my username to the list and gave myself read and write access for the .trash folder. Finally I hid the hidden files and folders again After doing this I no longer see the request to verify with my password. Not sure why it wasnt working as it did in Snow Leopard but my problem has now gone away.


    Hope this helps you in some way. If I am trying to teach you how to suck eggs please ignore this but I thought what harm can it do to share my succcess.


    Good luck with solving your issue.

1 2 3 ... 8 Previous Next


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (4)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.