How to Repair Permissions on a USB Drive

Written by j.s. copper
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If you have been receiving permission errors, or errors in general when accessing a USB drive, you may need to repair it. Permission errors can result in files, applications or folders not opening properly in Mac OS X. You can easily repair the disk's permissions using the Disk Utility.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Connect the drive to a USB port.

  2. 2

    Open "Applications," "Utilities" and "Disk Utility." If you don't see the program, search for it with Spotlight by clicking on the magnifying glass in the upper right corner of the screen and typing "Disk Utility."

  3. 3

    Select your USB drive in the sidebar and click the "First Aid" tab.

  4. 4

    Select "Repair Disk Permissions." Optionally, you can first select "Verify Disk Permissions" to see if repair is even necessary. You may have to enter your administrator password to confirm the action. The process will take a few minutes. When finished you can close Disk Utility or view a log of repaired permissions.

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