SOLVED Update to Big Sur changed my permissions


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I recently updated my Mac mini (Late 2014) from Mojave to Big Sur 11.4. After the update I find that the permissions on my home folder have been changed. Get Info for the home folder still shows I have Read/Write privilege but it also says “You have custom access” and the “Apply to enclosed items” is grayed out. The Pictures folder shows I have Read/Write privilege and also says “You have custom access” but the “Apply to enclosed items” is NOT grayed out. The Documents folder only shows “You have custom access”; there are no privileges shown nor any way to add them; even the padlock icon is missing.

The few discussions I found of similar issues all seemed rather obscure and uncertain. Has anyone experienced this problem and found a simple and straightforward fix?
 
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Cory Cooper

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Hi,

My Mac mini and MacBook Air running Big Sur show the exact same thing...looks like that is the default.

Are you having issue accessing any of the folders?

C
 
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Never update OSX in any circumstance. Stick with Snow Leopard until the very end of all space and time in the universe. :) Sorry, just kidding. Sorta.
 
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Hi,

My Mac mini and MacBook Air running Big Sur show the exact same thing...looks like that is the default.

Are you having issue accessing any of the folders?

C
Hi Cory and thanks. It's good to know at least I'm not alone. I haven't had any issue accessing any of the folders locally but it's totally buggered my file sharing. I have two MacBooks (also updated to Big Sur) in addition to the Mac mini and I share my home folders on all three Macs. That allows me to copy (or used to) any set of files or folders across my LAN from one Mac to another depending on what, where and how I want to work on a given project. When connected remotely to the same account I use locally, I can access the Pictures folder (Read/Write privilege and also says “You have custom access” but the “Apply to enclosed items” is NOT grayed out) but NOT the Documents folder (only shows “You have custom access”; there are no privileges shown nor any way to add them; even the padlock icon is missing). I'll mention too that, even if access weren't an issue (which it definitely IS), it troubles me to lose control of the access to MY files on My computer.
 
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I recently updated my Mac mini (Late 2014) from Mojave to Big Sur 11.4. After the update I find that the permissions on my home folder have been changed. Get Info for the home folder still shows I have Read/Write privilege but it also says “You have custom access” and the “Apply to enclosed items” is grayed out. The Pictures folder shows I have Read/Write privilege and also says “You have custom access” but the “Apply to enclosed items” is NOT grayed out. The Documents folder only shows “You have custom access”; there are no privileges shown nor any way to add them; even the padlock icon is missing.

The few discussions I found of similar issues all seemed rather obscure and uncertain. Has anyone experienced this problem and found a simple and straightforward fix?
Same complaint. I accepted Big Sur but it didn't transfer my settings plus it removed the mic and camera from my monitor and when I complained my message was removed. This has happened before when updating so why not correct this old and serious shortcoming and save unsuspecting customers so much grief?
 
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I also upgraded and found that Big Sur did not support standalone Lightroom 6. A con to make you pay for storing on iCloud . I reverted back to Mojave
 
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This has happened before when updating so why not correct this old and serious shortcoming and save unsuspecting customers so much grief?

Imho, maybe the most useful thing forums like this could do is teach users how to safely update OSX. Sometimes I think I've read 4 trillion posts over the years which said something like....

"Help! I updated OSX and then [insert calamity here]!!!!"

Here's a fairly simple method for safely updating OSX.

FIRST: Do you need to update OSX? Do you have a specific reason for doing so? If yes, then....

==============

1) Copy your entire setup over to a 2nd drive using software like SuperDuper.

2) Update OSX on your main drive by whatever method you prefer.

3) Spend time in your main programs doing whatever you usually do, keeping an eye out for any problems.

4) If you come upon unacceptable problems which you can't fix, or
don't want to be bothered with, copy the backup drive back over
the main drive, thus erasing all problems, and restoring your setup to what it was before the OSX update.

==============

OR: Copy the main drive over to a backup drive, boot from the backup drive, and update OSX there. The backup drive becomes your testing zone where you can check the update out before making any changes to your main drive.

==============

Most of the OSX update problems I've seen arise from these faulty assumptions.

1) If it's new it must be better.

2) Free is a good enough reason to grab it.

3) Apple must know what it's doing. :)

If Apple knew what it's doing it would be Apple that was teaching us the above procedures. As soon as you launched the OSX installer a message something like the above would come up.

If Apple knew what it was doing it would be using this procedure to sell an external drive to those who don't already have one, because having a backup drive is not optional.

If Apple knew what it was doing it would buy SuperDuper and rebrand it as a free Apple product.

If Apple knew what it was doing it would grasp that every time an OSX update fails Apple's brand takes a hit.
 
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Never update OSX in any circumstance. Stick with Snow Leopard until the very end of all space and time in the universe. :) Sorry, just kidding. Sorta.
I concur - each new release of OSX seems to be a little worse than the previous release. I have lost some functionality going from El Cap to Catalina (mostly performance) but most things I can live with. For example, when I click on the Mail icon in the dock, the Mail app window doesn't always open. Clicking on the Mail icon in the dock again displays the Mail window. I can live with that, but I shouldn't have to, and I didn't used to have to. The only reason I did migrate to Catalina was to get current development tools (i.e., XCode and Swift 5). Also, Garageband sometimes chases its tail when you click on its icon, and then I have to force-quit it and restart it again, at which point it comes up normally.

Reading about the ongoing issues with Big Sur, there is no way I plan to upgrade to that until all reported issues are resolved. And now, before they even have all the bugs in Big Sur ironed out, they've announced a new macOS at WWDC. I'm losing confidence in Apple with their bigger-better-faster-newer mantra every six months: fix the blasted bugs before you move on to a new release!

I guess I'm going to have to get my Linux skills back up to snuff ... because I WILL not go back to Windows.
 
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Since June 23rd when I first observed the change in permissions on my home folder as described in my original post, I have spent some considerable time in several sessions with Apple Senior technical support gathering information for analysis by Apple macOS engineering. Compared to the miserable standard for customer support we have come to expect from technology providers these days, I was very favorably impressed with the quality of support and commitment to customer service I experienced with Apple. The final report from Apple engineering this morning was that the change I observed was expected behavior and was implemented by design in the interest of improved security. Having already developed my own circumvention and now comfortable with the assurance that I have NOT suffered some systemic failure as a result of the Big Sur update, I have made the commitment to Big Sur and begun moving forward. Thank everyone for the time and effort taken to share their remarks.
 
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The final report from Apple engineering this morning was that the change I observed was expected behavior and was implemented by design in the interest of improved security.

I'm glad you had a good experience with Apple, and that your concerns are now resolved.

Here's how a professional company might have handled the situation so that you didn't have to have concerns, and didn't have to spend your time talking to Apple instead of doing your own work.

1) They could have told you about the changes which would be made to your setup before those changes were made.

2) They could have given you a choice as to whether you wanted those changes to happen.

You see the personal attention you received from Apple as a success. I see it as a failure.

Apple thinks they did you a favor by talking to you on the phone. What I see is Apple wasting your time by making it necessary for you to talk to them on the phone.

Does Apple have better support than other tech companies? I don't know, but that seems a reasonable theory. But beating the other tech companies is leaping over a pretty low bar.

Is the above statement "bashing" Apple? No. It's being loyal to the spirit of Steve Jobs, a kinda ornery fellow who was never satisfied with anything. A leader, who willingly embraced a state of chronic dissatisfaction. It was that annoying inconvenient mindset by Jobs that led to us choosing a Mac over a PC.
 
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Since June 23rd when I first observed the change in permissions on my home folder as described in my original post, I have spent some considerable time in several sessions with Apple Senior technical support gathering information for analysis by Apple macOS engineering. Compared to the miserable standard for customer support we have come to expect from technology providers these days, I was very favorably impressed with the quality of support and commitment to customer service I experienced with Apple. The final report from Apple engineering this morning was that the change I observed was expected behavior and was implemented by design in the interest of improved security. Having already developed my own circumvention and now comfortable with the assurance that I have NOT suffered some systemic failure as a result of the Big Sur update, I have made the commitment to Big Sur and begun moving forward. Thank everyone for the time and effort taken to share their remarks.

bladerunner714, I have noticed almost identical issue with my own Big Sur system when I updated from 11.3.x to 11.4. I have spent many hours with Apple support trying all manner of hacks to fix it but nothing has worked. For me what you describe is just a few of the symptoms of a bigger issue which is – I generally can't add or delete anything from the Applications folder. Using the App store, apps will download but they will not install, except for the macOS Big Sur installer which I ran to to try and fix this issue - but it made no perceivable difference. In other words, the updates to Pages etc via the App store will download but fail to install and an error message to that effect appears on-screen. The Applications folder also has some third party apps which I cannot 'Move to Trash/Bin'. That option is disabled in the File menu and the option does not even appear in the contextual menu when secondary-clicking on the app I wish to remove.

Can you add or remove apps and folders from your Applications folder? If not, I think Apple telling you it was a feature is incorrect and is instead just a symptom of a bigger bug. Please do let me know.
 
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bladerunner714, I have noticed almost identical issue with my own Big Sur system when I updated from 11.3.x to 11.4. I have spent many hours with Apple support trying all manner of hacks to fix it but nothing has worked. For me what you describe is just a few of the symptoms of a bigger issue which is – I generally can't add or delete anything from the Applications folder. Using the App store, apps will download but they will not install, except for the macOS Big Sur installer which I ran to to try and fix this issue - but it made no perceivable difference. In other words, the updates to Pages etc via the App store will download but fail to install and an error message to that effect appears on-screen. The Applications folder also has some third party apps which I cannot 'Move to Trash/Bin'. That option is disabled in the File menu and the option does not even appear in the contextual menu when secondary-clicking on the app I wish to remove.

Can you add or remove apps and folders from your Applications folder? If not, I think Apple telling you it was a feature is incorrect and is instead just a symptom of a bigger bug. Please do let me know.
Sajik - Pleased to help if I can by sharing more of my experience but you'll forgive me if I don't try to explicitly add or delete files from the Application folder. At least not for a while. Just had surgery this morning and will be recovering for a while. First, the senior tech I worked with told me that similar issues were first observed with the initial release of Catalina. Regarding the Application folder: I HAVE successfully installed updates from the App Store but my Application folder didn't experience the same change in permissions that caused problems with my Documents and Pictures folder. For more information, my circumvention was to create new RW Documents and RW Pictures folders in my home folder to serve the same purpose as the respective default folders. I have complete control over the permissions on the folders I created and they serve the intended purpose very well. Finally, while Apple's official position is that the behavior I observed was 'expected' I will share that an unofficial hint from the senior tech who worked with me throughout the bug shoot was "don't be surprised to see the issue addressed in a future update or release". Hope that helps and if there's anything more, please ask. Regs, RW
 
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Get well soon.

That's helpful info. When you are well enough, in the Applications folder please try creating a new folder and deleting it.
 
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Get well soon.

That's helpful info. When you are well enough, in the Applications folder please try creating a new folder and deleting it.
Sajik: Thanks for the get well. Will test per your request and post results - probably very soon. Feeling great (doctors seem truly impressed) except confined to recliner and knee scooter for a while. Current portal to cloud life resides on 2016 MacBook. Regs, RW
 
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Get well soon.

That's helpful info. When you are well enough, in the Applications folder please try creating a new folder and deleting it.
Sajik: So here's what I did:
created a new Writer Document with LibreOffice in the Applications folder
moved the Writer Document I just created to the trash
created a new folder in the Applications folder
created a new Writer Document with LibreOffice in the new folder I just created
moved the Writer Document I just created to the trash
moved the folder I just created to the trash
emptied the trash
all without errors or other incidents of any kind
hope that helps

Please don't take offense but it did occur to me to remind that you probably need to be logged in as an administrator to write to and delete from the Applications folder

Anything else, please ask

Regs RW
 

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