What exactly this lock checkbox does and how it differs from the lock icon at the bottom right of the "Get info" tab.

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PS: Diff. questions from - What does the lock icon on the 'Get Info' screen do?

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  • 2
    AIUI: The "Locked" checkbox sets an HFS+ extended attribute on the file, without changing the standard POSIX file permissions. The one at the bottom, when unlocked, allows you to change the standard POSIX permissions in the table above it. (Which you might be able to do anyway, if you have the appropriate permissions.)
    – calum_b
    Commented Dec 2, 2017 at 17:32

1 Answer 1


This checkbox provides a means for the user to lock the item (i.e. a file or folder). Once locked, it can’t be changed or deleted.


  • When I say it can’t be deleted, what I actually mean is that if you try to delete it you’ll get a prompt alerting you to the fact it’s locked. However, this prompt does give you the option of moving it to the Trash anyway.
  • Locking a file does not prevent someone from opening/viewing the file. In other words, locking does not password protect it.
  • To unlock an item, just go back into its Get Info screen and deselect the Locked checkbox.
  • @ Monomeeth: how would you go about password protecting (and/or hide like in windows) a file/folder in finder? Is that even possible?
    – G.O.N.
    Commented Dec 2, 2017 at 21:28
  • @G.O.N. To hide a folder or folder use this command in the terminal: chflags hidden /Path/To/The/File. BetterZip 4 will also allow you to create encrypted archives (zip files). FileVault 2 will encrypt your entire disk, so as long as you are not logged in, no one can get access to any file. You can also encrypt a folder by turning it into an encrypted disk image.
    – Bruce
    Commented Dec 2, 2017 at 22:42

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