Some common problems, such as applications not loading or exhibiting strange behavior, can be fixed by repairing your permissions. Because Mac OS X is based on Unix, it utilizes ownership and permissions. Sometimes, key system files have their permissions changed to something other than what they are supposed to be by applications and, more often, installers. Repairing permissions fixes any accidental changes that may have occurred to the ownership and permission of key system files. Repairing your permissions regularly is good common practice, say monthly, even if you are not installing a new application like MacTVision!
To repair your Mac’s permissions:
- Open Disk Utility, located at /Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility
- Select your startup disk on the left of the Disk Utility window
- Select First Aid from the tabs
- Click the “Repair Disk Permissions” button
It is also recommended that users repair permissions before installing any new system updates to avoid any potential permission conflicts. While it is not necessary, doing so is usually a good idea, if only merely to exercise caution.