I use the Disk Utility to repair it. But the permissions change back after reboot.

Permissions differ on “private/etc/aliases”; should be lrwxr-xr-x ; they are -rwxr-xr-x . Permissions differ on “Users”; should be drwxr-xr-x ; they are drwxrwxrwx . Permissions differ on “Users/Shared”; should be drwxrwxrwt ; they are drwxrwxrwx .

System: Mac OS X 10.9.3

  • FYI, this appeared on my system, but when I grabbed a virgin 10.9.2 virtual machine and applied the 10.9.3 update from the Apple update .dmg, it did not appear. Not sure why.
    – Mattie
    May 16, 2014 at 20:39
  • More details about this bug: derflounder.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/… "It is important that Find My Mac be disabled before the permissions fix is run and also that Find My Mac remain disabled."
    – Tao
    May 16, 2014 at 23:12
  • Thanks! You should write that up as an answer, since it's pretty definitive.
    – Mattie
    May 16, 2014 at 23:29
  • I didn't see the comments here when I answered, so feel free to self answer or edit mine :-)
    – bmike
    May 17, 2014 at 0:08

3 Answers 3


This problem was caused by a bug introduced by an Apple software update. iTunes 11.2.1 has been released to fix the issue.

iTunes 11.2.1

Impact: A local user can compromise other local user accounts

Description: Upon each reboot, the permissions for the /Users and /Users/Shared directories would be set to world-writable, allowing modification of these directories. This issue was addressed with improved permission handling.

This vulnerability was assigned the security identifier CVE-2014-1347.

  • This is now the best answer.
    – TJ Luoma
    May 17, 2014 at 21:55

This is a problem where iCloud's Find My Mac interacts poorly with an iTunes update. (Specifically iTunes 11.2)

The fix and cause are documented expertly on Rich Trouton's blog:

The fix is to disable find my Mac and then run a script to repair the permissions and visibility of the potentially affected folders. This will likely be fixed rapidly by Apple since it can cause some serious issues and confusion when the /Users folders are incorrectly secured.


I've exactly the same problem after updating to 10.9.3 yesterday but with slightly different folders...

Users folder same problem as with yours

Users/Shared same problem as with yours



should be: Irwxr-xr-x

is: -rwxr-xr-x

Doesn't matter what I'll try, after the next reboot the problem say's hello again.

Well I've not the chance to test it yet but you might wanna give the following a try:

Start your computer with Alt + CMD + P + R in order to a PRAM reset. Start your computer with CMD + R for recovery partition boot Launch Disc Utility and repair the permissions. Quit Disk Utility and open the Terminal (Utilities -->> Terminal) and type:

cd /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD (or the name of your partition) 
chmod 755 Users 
chmod 755 Users/Shared 
chflags nohidden Users 
chflags nohidden Users/Shared

Restart, normally everything should be back to normal

  • 1
    Actually, the restart triggers the bug again, so you'll need to disable Find My Mac to prevent a reversion of the permissions each reboot. The commands here look excellent for fixing the issue until the next reboot, though.
    – bmike
    May 17, 2014 at 0:09

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