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How to Unlock Folders on a Mac Desktop

by Alexander Poirier

The Mac operating system allows users to lock their folders to prevent the modification or deletion of their contents by unauthorized users. Locking a folder has little use, however, if you are unable to unlock it later. If you've locked a folder on your Mac and wish to unlock it, you can do this in one of two ways.

Get Info

Step 1

Right-click the folder (or click while holding down the "Ctrl" key if you're not using a mouse with right-click functionality) and select the Get Info option from the context menu.

Step 2

Click the box next to the Locked option to remove the check mark from the box and unlock the folder.

Click the X at the top left corner of the window to close the Get Info window and save the changes. The file should now be unlocked.

Using the Terminal

Step 1

Click the Finder icon (which looks like a square smiling face) to open a Finder window. Open the Applications folder and then the Utilities application folder. Inside the Utilities folder, double-click the Terminal application icon to launch the terminal.

Step 2

Type "sudo chflags -R nouchg" (without the quotes) in the Terminal window and press the space bar. Drag the folder you wish to unlock into the Terminal window and press the "Enter" key.

Enter your account password when prompted and press the "Enter" key to unlock the file. Click the X at the upper left of the window to close the Terminal window and save the changes.

Tip

  • Be careful when entering commands into the Terminal window. Entering an incorrect command could damage the information stored on your computer.

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