Weekly Poll: How Often Do You Repair Permissions?

Last week while researching an introduction to Disk Utility I came across some extremely varied arguments regarding the usefulness of repairing permissions (check out that article for a discussion of what repairing permissions actually does).

I’ve personally long seen “Repair Permissions” as a nice little troubleshooting tool that I turn to when nothing else seems to solve a given issue. If something isn’t working quite right and I can’t hunt down the source of the problem, I repair my permissions to see if the situation improves. Sometimes it does, many times it doesn’t. Either way, it’s always worth a shot!

In my research, I came across tons of other people who seem to share this sort of “cure all” mentality towards repairing permissions. Some go so far as to recommend repairing permissions as part of setting up daily maintenance scripts.

On the other side of the argument though there are folks that don’t see much, if any, value in this action. There’s an old blog post on the Unsanity site actually titled “Repairing Permissions is Useless,” which makes a very informed case against the idea that repairing permissions is a solution to a wide variety of problems, though the author does in fact accept that it should be tried as a last resort.

Today I want to know what you think. Help me decide whether or not to keep repairing permissions on my list of go-to strategies for troubleshooting. Vote in the poll and let us know how often you repair permissions, then leave a comment below with your argument for or against the action!


Add Yours
  • I had never done it (successfully) before I read the article. I mean, I’ve tried to in the past AFTER I’d burn my disk, not as a routine.

    Can’t say yet if it helps or not. I’ve tried after I read the article. It found some errors, it corrected a few, couldn’t do anything thing about others.

    It needs more experiment on my part, but it seems like something worth having in your “maintenance arsenal”. Heck, even if it does virtually nothing, at least won’t be hurting either, right?

    Thanks for the article and take care.

  • I have an automated SuperDuper!-backup every morning. I have configured it to automatically repair disc permission every first Sunday in a month. Good? Not good?

  • A good follow-up poll would be, for those who repair permissions when problems arise – how often does it actually fix your problem ?