Help! Copying folders between users on same Mac

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by PatientWaiter, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. PatientWaiter macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2013
    Hi All,

    Looking to move/copy folders from one user to another on same computer. Really in a tough spot and I'm hoping you can help me... probably real simple, just don't have the expertise.

    Long story short:

    - Very old MBP (2006) running Mountain Lion has corrupt hard drive. It's done for. Have Time Machine backup.
    - New rMBP (late 2013) running Mavericks.
    - Set up a new (read: clean) account when I got the new rMBP.
    - Imported the old account (2006) to the new rMBP via Time Machine backup.
    - Need to transfer all files (documents, desktop files, etc.)

    I am getting an error right that says I, as the administrator, do not have permission to access the files. I have tried:
    1) Accessing the files from the primary/new account via the Finder and exploring the users/library folders.
    2) Changing permissions on all files/folders in the old account.
    3) Changing administrator on each account.
    4) Putting folders into the "shared" folder, then logging into new account and copying over (same permission errors... and not on all files.)

    When I look at folders, they have a small red circle with white dash in it - access not allowed. I can enter a password and see the files, but when I copy, not all files are copied (e.g., 6 gigs out of 16 gigs for one folder.)

    I'm not sure what else to try and I'm pulling out my hair. Thanks for any suggestions.

  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Login to the new account then enter the command below into Terminal and hit return. You will be prompted for your password. This will move everything from the old account to a Temp folder on the Desktop of the new account. You need to change "oldusername" in the command to the actual user name of the old account listed under /Users.

    Then you can open the Temp folder and use Finder to drag around whatever you want from the old account folders.

    sudo ditto -rsrc /Users/oldusername ~/Desktop/Temp/

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