Repair Your Permissions, Speed Up Your Mac

Over time all our computers start to take a bit of a performance hit, things start to slow down, things just don’t run the way they should. Sometime applications lag and don’t do exactly what they are designed to do. There is a quick fix to all of this which should help speed up a few things. In disk utility there is a the option to repair disk permissions.

Repairing disk permissions goes through and corrects any errors with any permissions, which will make buggy applications correct themselves, and could speed up the overall performance of your mac.

To repair permissions first get to your utilities folder by clicking go in the finder, then selecting utilities.

Once in utilities open up disk utility.
In the left hand column select your hard drive.
Next select the first aid tab.
From there click Repair Disk Permissions

There is no need to click Verify Disk Permissions, selecting Repair Disk Permissions will verify and repair. This could take 5 minutes to 30 minutes, maybe longer depending on how long it has been since the permissions have been repaired. It is good to generally do this once a month, after you install an application, or run an update.


19 Responses to “Repair Your Permissions, Speed Up Your Mac”

  1. Dan Booring on March 22nd, 2010 8:11 am

    No, no, no. And NO. This article says several things which are patently false.

    John Gruber settled this issue almost FOUR YEARS AGO. Here’s the money quote:

    “If you are not experiencing any symptoms that would indicate permission-related problems, there is no reason to run Repair Permissions. Repair Permissions is not a periodic maintenance task or a preventive measure.”

    His full article is here:

  2. Ken Cohen on March 22nd, 2010 8:19 am

    I think a better idea is to install a utility such as Onyx or Cocktail on your computer, set up a schedule and let it do its maintenance chores automatically about once a week at a time when you're prepared to restart the computer. I really don't think permissions is a big issue for balky applications, but I have found that Office 2004 and 2008 will both work more reliably if you clean out all of their caches (especially the font cache) periodically.

    As for old computers slowing down, my 3 year iMac is used 8-10 hours 5-6 days a week and is just as snappy and reliable now as it was the day I bought it.

  3. Dan Booring on March 22nd, 2010 10:35 am

    Thank you, Ken. Your comment is much more reasonable than the original post. Apps such as Onyx and Cocktail do most of their work with cache and log files… they rarely, if ever, touch permissions.

    Of course, your Mac will regularly clear those log and cache files in the wee hours of the morning, as long as it’s running. Apps like Onyx are good for notebook users whose machines are usually asleep at that time.

  4. Digital Jones on March 22nd, 2010 11:55 am

    What the…? You do not have to repair your permissions to increase responsiveness from your Mac. Seeing a bump in speed is as simple as resetting the PRAM and NVRAM in your Mac, and thats as easy as pressing four keys on your keyboard when your Mac is booting. Why would you want to repair something that doesn’t need to be repaired?

  5. Digital Jones on March 22nd, 2010 11:59 am

    …That and the methods that Dan and Ken explained maintain the Mac…

  6. Wes on March 22nd, 2010 1:26 pm

    This will only affect issues with apps that were installed using the Mac OS X Installer, this will have no affect on software installed with WISE or apps dragged to the applications folder from a DMG… Also, this is not a maintenance thing as much as a way to fix a broken app.

  7. mark on March 22nd, 2010 8:42 pm

    with all due respect, because inexperienced readers will be misled by this article, it should be retracted. i’m just sayin’….

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  10. Chicago Wordpress on April 1st, 2011 9:51 am

    I haven’t noticed any better performance from repairing permissions.

  11. Jenny on May 15th, 2012 2:38 pm

    Thanks! i did this and it stopped the jerkiness I was experiencing.. did not know you had to run such things to help it correct errors.

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