How to Fix Permissions and Catalog Errors on Your iMac

By Mark L. Chambers

If you love your iMac, as most people do, you will want to take measures to maintain your hard drive health. Shifty-eyed, sneaky, irritating little problems can bother your hard drive: permissions errors. Incorrect disk and file permissions can

  • Make your iMac lock up
  • Make applications act screwy (or refuse to run at all)
  • Cause weird behavior within a Finder window or System Preferences

And that’s not all: Problems with your drive’s catalog file can also result in corrupted data and files that won’t open.

To keep El Capitan running at its best, you should fix permissions and catalog errors at least once per week. Follow these steps:

  1. Click the Launchpad icon on the Dock and then click the Search box at the top of the window.
  2. Type the word disk.
  3. Double-click the Disk Utility icon.
  4. Click the volume at the left that you want to check. Volume is just computer-speak for a named partition, like Macintosh HD, which appears under your physical hard drive.
  5. Click the First Aid button and then click Run. Disk Utility does the rest and then displays a message about whatever it has to fix, if anything. (When will someone invent a car with a Repair Me button?)