I have a Mac mini acting as a file share server with external hard drive as a 'shared drive'.

I have separate accounts for each user. Previously they were all in the same 'Team' group and could read and write every subfolder in the 'shared drive'.

However I have a new user that should only be able to access one subfolder, so I'd like to restrict permission for that user. However when I look at the info of the folder on the shared drive, there is no option to remove 'staff' group from permissions list.

If I create a folder on the system hard drive I can see the 'staff' group permission and can remove it. However on the external drive there is no option.

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Edit: I figured out that I had 'Ignore ownership' enabled on the external drive which allowed any registered user to connect. I disabled this and re-enabled permissions on each subfolder which allowed me to finely control access.

  • Please add the output of ls -e /path/to/folder because here acls and unix permissions are mixed and it's unclear which are which!
    – klanomath
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 9:42
  • Hi, I've opened terminal and used ls -e to the folder, it just outputs a list of subfolders, should it do anything else?
    – Andytizer
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 11:11
  • sorry it's ls -le /path/to/folder
    – klanomath
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 11:14
  • I usually use ls -ale@ /path/to/folder to view everything. Add the -d flag to just view the permissions of that folder and not its contents.
    – MacManager
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


I'd probably change the group from staff to something else. Or remove the group access using:

chmod g-rwx /path/to/folder
  • I still want the folder accessible by my custom 'Team' group, just not accessible by any registered user - will chmod g-rwx remove both?
    – Andytizer
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 11:12
  • Oh, in that case just change the group ownership chown :groupname /path/to/folder and then remove 'everyone' permissions chmod o-rwx /path/to/folder
    – MacManager
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 13:35

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