Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

After upgrading to Lion, the owner of my files on the time machine disk is no longer myself but some user '501'. This makes all the backups that preceded Lion inaccessible.

I would like to run a recursive chown directly on the time machine disk to fix the ownership of everything under ~/., but I'd like to check first.

Have you run a recursive chown on your time machine disk under Lion and survived it?

share|improve this question
Did you run id in Terminal to see what your UID is now? – patrix Oct 29 '11 at 11:11

I've not done this personally but chown is pretty non-destructive spa recursive chown to make you the owner again is a perfectly valid and safe thing to do. In fact, it's what you are supposed to do when ownership is wrong.

You can always change it back to different ownership later with no loss or risk to file data but given that it is inaccessible right now due to ownership issues, I can't see why you would want to.

Just be very sure you are doing it to the time machine backup only.

share|improve this answer
However mild the risk might be, it doesn't make sense to gamble with other people's data. Is there anyone here who has actually done it and can tell us how it went? – Calaf Nov 3 '11 at 4:20

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.