El Capitan Permissions Anyone?

I have mentioned the missing Permissions factor in El Capitan in a previous article. Since that time I have seen a few articles online about using the Terminal application to run a Permissions fix. Yes, I know, El Capitan is supposed to correct Permissions in the background, but for those of you that would like to make sure Permissions are good to go, read on.


The Overview

Yes, El Capitan is a smart OS. It runs fast and seems to be very efficient. Apple knows what it is doing. But, sometimes processes that are supposed to run on their own in the background do not do so seamlessly. Keep in mind here that over the years people have treated running Permissions as a cureall for whatever ailed their Mac. However, Permissions is related to OS X and to Apples pre-installed apps that come with OS X. It does nothing to third party apps and addon stuff.

Yes, I have read some of the articles about running a Permissions Fix in the Terminal application. But, as I have stated previously, not many people are going to do this. If you think you would like to run Permissions manually then this might be a fix for you.

The Great Onyx

I have used the Onyx Utility program from Titanium Software for years. It really is excellent and does not do damage to your Mac. They make a version for each Mac OS. Basically, it is a GUI frontend that runs several different Unix (OS X Terminal stuff) for you. The El Capitan version was released about a week after El Capitan hit the streets. I installed it immediately, of course, ran it and was pleased to note it fixed most of my network problems.

A few days later they released an update that included the Permissions feature. I was totally surprised. To access it you click into the Maintenance area:

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When you do you will see the Permissions tab, just click on it and you will see this window:

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Now, the next step is to click on the “Execute” button and run Permissions. Caution!! I was not totally sure this would not cause a probem on my Mac so I ran a clone of my HD first. In other words, make sure you have a good backup of your machine first.

After doing my backup (a clone and Time Machine) I ran the Onyx Permissions feature:

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It says in the instrucitons that it might take a while and to be patient. Mine took about 4 minutes. When it was done it presented this window:

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Holy Scrollbars Batman! I cannot believe all the Permissions stuff it went through and fixed. That little window you see scrolls for several screens.

After Onyx finished it’s Permissions routine I did a restart. At this point there have been no ill effects to my machine, YMMV. Also, things seem to be just a bit snappier. Keep in mind you do not need to run Permssions every week. I usually run it after an OS X upgrade or after upgrading any Apple applications. Running is on an occasional basis is the preferred method.


Leave it to Titanium Software to makeup for El Capitan’s short comings. At any rate, if you would like to run Permissions at times then I highly recommend using Onyx. It is donationware, worth a small donation in my opinion.