Mac Maintenance – Repairing Permissions

Every time my Mac begins to act funny – lots of Safari crashes, Mail crashes – and I call Apple support, they walk me through the process of booting from my start-up disk and repairing permissions.


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Apparently you are supposed to repair permissions on your hard drive on a regular basis, every month or even every week. Why they don’t tell you that in the booklet that comes with the computer I don’t know. Explaining what permissions are in the first place would be helpful too.

If you have Mac OS 10.3.8, you don’t need to use the boot disk, you can repair permissions by launching “Disk Utility” from Hard drive > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility. Just open up your Disk Utility, select your main hard drive, and click on the “Repair Disk Permissions” button.

3 thoughts on “Mac Maintenance – Repairing Permissions

  1. I am just in the process of updating my blog, to a php/sql base rather than pure html, and just flitted over here.

    My other site, which I have also recently rebuilt from invision powerboards to XOOPS! cms is called macmend.com. (http://www.macmend.com)

    I have worked with Macs and Mac support many years and been offering Free mac support via the internet for the last 8 years, there is a FAQ on the macmend site that runs you through regular maintainence of your mac including permission repair and cache deletion.

  2. If you leave your computer on during the night, it will do maintenance chores by itself around 3AM several nights a week. I don’t leave my computer on, however, so I use “Cocktail” once a week to do maintenance chores. It does everything with just one click. There are other applications that do the same thing, which you can find via Google. I found out about them on the Apple forum, but my G5 manual didn’t mention them either.

  3. While Sandy is right, these chores are called ‘cron jobs, it does not repair permissions -wish it did! A brilliant programmer I know told me that permissions are easily corrupted and cause no end of trouble! He said that in his opinion, if PCs were able to repair permissions they would be as stable as Macs LOL!

    But I digress, there are two other ways to repair permissions without using the startup disk -I only take that route once or twice a year!

    Easy and Free:
    In your applications folder, you will find a Utilities folder, in there is a copy of disk utility -I keep mine in the dock so I don’t have to go look for it. Always repair permissions when things act wacky and also before and after all updates and software installations.

    Not free but cheap and worth it:
    Tiger Cache Cleaner. You can also do your cron jobs with this one! It also works well wit Panther.

    I love your site, I’ve saved money on kitchen toys and made some tasty treats -it’s a pleasure to ‘pay you back’ with advice!

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