Password needed for copying some folders/files

Discussion in 'macOS' started by vexorg, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. vexorg macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2009
    I have an odd password thing that has recently started. I use time machine as a backup, but I also have a second external drive that I use to dump a copy of my home folder. It's also handy for when I want to copy files onto my PC.

    One of the folders, inside my main document folder, has started saying I must enter my password to copy it. I get a warning at the start of copying that it will be needed, then when the copying reaches that folder it waits for me to enter my password.

    Other than being a bit of a pain as I can't simply leave it to finish. I don't know why it does this now, or how to stop it. I've been doing the same backup on this macbook for 3 years, now the last 6 months it wants my password.

    I'm logged in ok, the folder in question is mine with all rights. Or could there be a folder or file inside that's not listed as mine.

    How do I find why it need the password when bulk copying?
  2. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000


    Mar 17, 2007
    Open Terminal in the Applications/Utilities folder then type in and hit enter key ls -lR /path/to/external/backup. Once the output is finished scrolling by look at it to make sure all the files/folders are owned by you. If not a sudo chown -R username:group /path/to/external/backup will go through and change all the files/folders to what you set. Use the username and group you see for the files that do not cause the problem for you. If you type in the first part of the commands then drag and drop the drive/folder in question from Finder onto the Terminal it will fill in the correct path for you for the second part.
  3. vexorg thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2009
    I'll try that, but the folder/files in question are the ones one my mac's internal drive. The folder on the external drive is and empty folder that I copy the internal drive on to.

    I'll run that on my home folder on the mac's drive.
  4. vexorg thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2009
    And send it to a file as there's a lot to scroll through :D
  5. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Instead of manually looking at file owners, try this.
    find ~ -not -user "$USER"
    Copy and paste that exact line into a Terminal window. The output will be a list of every file in your home folder hierarchy that isn't owned by you.
  6. vexorg thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2009
    The only files that come up as not mine are in Parallels, they are owned by root. I wonder if that could be it.

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