I am running on OSX Maverick. I just realized that my machine is case insensitive. How do I reset my HD to be case-sensitive?

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    HFS+ on Mac OS X is, and (as far as I know) always has been, "case preserving" which is not exactly the same as "case insensitive." What this means is that you can create "Foo.txt" or "foo.txt" or "FOO.txt" (but only one of those per directory). ALSO: making your boot drive case sensitive has been "Not Recommended" and may cause applications to fail because they have not been tested on case-sensitive drives. All of which is to say: be sure to do your research before you decide to do that. And make a full clone backup before you do. Just in case you want to go back. – TJ Luoma Dec 5 '13 at 7:18

This is the inverse of this solution on superuser.

The easiest way is to use a tool like Carbon Copy Cloner, clone the volume to an external drive, format your drive as case sensitive and restore it back. As this inverse question "Can CCC backup a case sensitive volume and restore to a case insensitive volume?" and answer on the CCC forums describes:

Yes, that should work fine. I just did a quick "backup bouncer" test with this scenario (10.6.2) and it worked great. The only potential issue is if you had some items with the same name, differing only in case, in the same directory. Only one of them would be copied over to the case-insensitive filesystem. For example:


You could have both those folders on a case sensitive filesystem, but the last item to be copied to a case insensitive filesystem would overwrite the previous item with the same name, different case. I really doubt that you've created such a scenario yourself, and the OS certainly doesn't do it for the standard installation, so I would be too concerned about this. Clone away, it should work great.


The other solution is to experiment with this older HFS Converter tool. Have a backup before you attempt this.

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Using disk utility you'll need to reformat your partition (= deleting everything) and select a case sensitive format.

So if you hoped to do it easily, that won't be the case.

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    "So if you hoped to do it easily, that won't be the case." upper or lower? – CousinCocaine Jul 17 '14 at 17:23

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