If you use an external drive to share music, photos or other files, then you should know about the “Ignore ownership on this volume” option. This allows you to have multiple users on the same Mac, or multiple users across several Macs to have the same access to files and folders regardless of which user put them there. It can greatly simplify sharing the data on an external drive.
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today’s episode I’m going to show you one simple little setting that will make it much easier to use external hard drives, especially if you have multiple users.
So I get email from a lot of people who are using external hard drives to share things like say iPhoto libraries or music libraries, media videos, all sort of stuff between either multiple computers or multiple users on the same computer. When you set up an external hard drive to be used in this way there is on little setting that you may not notice right off the bat that makes it much easier.
So I have another hard drive on my Mac that is called MediaDisk. In it I store a bunch of different things like iPhoto Library, iTunes Media, a bunch of different videos, and different things that I don’t want on the main internal drive. Actually on my MacPro they are both internal but say on an iMac or using a MacBook Pro you may have the second drive as an external drive.
Now when you create a new folder that folder then will have the permission set so that it is owned by the current user. So you can see here it is owned by MacMost which is the current user logged in. If I would log out of the MacMost user and log into the user that I use for my day to day work I would find out that I don’t have permission to change files and put new files into the folder because it is owned by MacMost. Likewise if I disconnected this drive from this Mac attached to another Mac I wouldn’t have permission to change and add to this folder either because it is not owned by the user on that Mac it is owned by the user on this Mac.
Now fixing that on a folder by folder basis is pretty easy because here I can see by getting info on this folder that I can change it. So I have what Staff and Everyone, everyone would be any user, staff would just be admin users on this machine, would be able to do. Now it is set to Read Only. So say if I want to change everybody to Read and Write I can do that and it changes it for that folder. But that can get to be a pain especially if you are creating folders and adding new folders and changing things all the time.
So the better way to do it is to select the drive itself in the Finder here. So I have selected the drive and I’m going to get info, Command I by the way for Get Info or you can do File for info and that is how that is brought up, and you will notice that there is a check box here called Ignore Ownership on this Volume.
Now in order to get to that you are going to have to unlock the permissions here, so you are going to have to enter permissions in, and once you do that you will then have the ability to check and uncheck this box here. You can see I’ve got it checked because this MediaDisk I want it to be used by multiple users so I have ignore ownership. That way any user can create a folder, can change anything, and the other users can see it and have permission to get to it.
Another thing people do all the time that is not necessary is to select the entire volume like this, change one of the properties to Read and Write for say Everybody and then go down here, and if I had unlocked it, I would be able to do Apply to Enclosed Items. That would make everything Read and Write for everybody. But you don’t need to do that if you simply Ignore Ownership on this Volume option.
Now you can only use Ignore Ownership on this Volume if its an external or a secondary drive, say on a MacPro, so it is not your main drive with the system on it. You can’t do it there. You also can’t do it on a disk image as well and depending upon how you have encrypted the disk and done different things to it, you also may have the option turned off. But for a standard, regular external drive that you want to store different files, music, photos, whatever on, you should be able to turn this on and make life a lot easier for you.
Hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.