Just now I created a folder on my desktop. It had the name "untitled folder". I wanted to change the name to something else, but got an alert that I needed admin rights. Removing the folder has the same effect.

I tried this several times, directly on the desktop and using the Finder. I checked the Info for the Desktop folder and all seemed OK. I have read and write access.

Creating a folder in the Documents folder works normally. System is macOS 10.14 Mojave.

What is this, and how do I correct it?


As requested by Allan, the output of the ls-commands. I've copied the results for the Documents and Downloads folder for comparison, plus some files inside the Desktop folder, including the newly created "untitled" folder.

$ ls -la /Users/sprbrn
drwxr-x---+ 14 sprbrn  staff      448 Mar  5 13:37 Desktop
drwx------+ 47 sprbrn  staff     1504 Mar  5 13:04 Documents
drwx------+ 55 sprbrn  staff     1760 Mar  6 22:06 Downloads

$ ls -la /Users/sprbrn/Desktop
drwxr-x---+ 14 sprbrn  staff   448 Mar  5 13:37 .
drwx------+ 82 sprbrn  staff  2624 Feb 10 20:29 ..
-rw-r-----   1 sprbrn  staff  8196 Mar  5 13:39 .DS_Store
-rw-r-----   1 sprbrn  staff     0 Aug 14  2017 .localized
drwxr-xr-x   2 sprbrn  staff    64 Mar  5 13:37 untitled folder

Here I show the output for the Desktop folder from the first command and . folder from the second command next to eachother.

drwxr-x---+ 14 sprbrn  staff      448 Mar  5 13:37 Desktop
drwxr-x---+ 14 sprbrn  staff      448 Mar  5 13:37 .

I don't see any difference in the output, and I have no idea what else to look for.

  • Navigate to the desktop "the long way" Open Macintosh HD, then Users/yourname/ & select the desktop folder. Get Info. What does it say for Sharing & Permissions? Should be (me) Read & Write, Everyone No access.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 12:30
  • I don't see any difference between the two methods. I do see a difference with other folders, the Desktop folder having a rights entry for Staff (read only). The other folders don't have that. I don't see how that would change things.
    – SPRBRN
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 12:39
  • Is this your computer? If so, you should have administrator rights when you log on.
    – Natsfan
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 15:59
  • Yes this is my computer. And of course I have administrator's rights, but not on my account. I have a separate admin account and prefer it that way.
    – SPRBRN
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 16:19
  • 1
    Ok. So far the permissions seem correct. Now, in Terminal, navigate to your desktop (cd /Users/sprbrn) and create, then delete a file (touch testfile.txt; rm testfile.txt)
    – Allan
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 14:08


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