This is a screenshot of my private folders/files inside my user folder, but seen from a different user on my MacBook. Several folders are basically openly accessable for everybody, even when created inside my very own /user space.

My questions are:

  1. Why is it like this ?
  2. How can I prevent other users from accessing my files (unless i move them inside protected folders)

enter image description here


2 Answers 2


This is because Finder creates new folder with default permissions set to 755, or rwxr-xr-x (I agree that's questionable behavior). This means that new folders in your home directory are readable (r) and executable (x) by both users not-only in the same group, but all users on the system.

You can lock down the access to just your user from Finder's Get Info dialog by removing the group access entry and setting the "everyone" entry to "No Access".

Alternately, you can use Terminal to chmod your directories with chmod 700 ~/your_directory to accomplish the same thing.


Get information on each folder and change the permissions at the bottom of the finder window. Make sure you are the owner and no groups or other owners can read the contents of the folders. The permissions should read “no access”

Why this happened could be many things, but locking it down is trivial with finder and also not hard at the command line.

  • 2
    That's not my point! I think it shouldn't be the task of every Mac user in the world to fix their own user folder rights on the command line! Isn't it insane that the above scenario is the default setting on each sold Mac in the world ? I mean this is a gigantic security issue...
    – Sliq
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 20:37
  • No one sees anything until you enable sharing @Sliq
    – bmike
    Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 3:55
  • 2
    That is incorrect as the folders are outside of the home-folder, so everything that's put in there is visible to anybody who has access to the filesystem (= any other user of that physical machine). I think it's a usability flaw.
    – Sliq
    Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 5:58
  • 1
    When did “outside your home folder” arise? the question states inside the home folder.
    – bmike
    Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 9:23
  • Sorry, my last comment was wrong! The folders are definitly inside my user folders. That's the issue. They shouldn't be visible / accessable to anybody, but they are. The design flaw is in my opinion that Apple sets access rights to the folders inside the home folder, not to the home folder itself.
    – Sliq
    Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 9:42

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