I am an admin that wants to access other users' files. How to do this via the Terminal?
As stated by patrix: the personal files of other user's on the same machine are generally stored in the
/Users/<username> folder for each user. The permissions on these folders are usually set such that they are private to the individual who owns the files.
This means you need to use sudo to elevate your own access levels in order to see their files. If you are truly an admin, using
sudo is something that's ok, but do so with caution. If you are not an admin then you shouldn't have the proper
sudo privileges to do any of this and your repeated attempts to use
sudo are logged in the system access log.
To simply list files in another user's home directory (let's call them
bob) you do:
sudo ls ~bob
~ prefix is POSIX shorthand for "home directory of...". To browse freely, you can become that user with
sudo like so:
sudo su - bob
This makes you
bob, logged in as
bob and in
bob's home directory. You can now move around,
open files, etc. as
The home folders of all users are stored in
/Users. Assuming you have the technical and legal rights to access files of other users, you can do this by changing into their home folder (
cd /Users/joe or
cd ~joe) and accessing the files there.