I realised recently that I'd lost some important very old photos from my laptop. Because I didn't notice, they've been lost from the online backup as well.

I think I have them on on some old physical backup disks, but I see the photos folder are locked, and I can't remember the login/passwords I was using for my machine back in those days.

Is there a way to unlock the files/folders?


  • How are they 'locked'? Encrypted or just that you don't have permissions?
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 17, 2021 at 11:02
  • Thanks! Only permissions, and problem already solved.
    – David Week
    Mar 23, 2021 at 3:46

1 Answer 1


My old beagle (old but smart !) has a answer : Use a second Apple computer . Start the locked computer in target mode and use it as a external HD. Connect a Apple computer with the locked one (with a FW/USB/TB cable https://support.apple.com/en-ca/guide/mac-help/mchlp1443/mac) . The locked Apple will show-up on the desktop as external HD . Enjoy ! (Could not work if the MacOS are from different OS generations)

  • This doesn't appear to relate to the OP's problem. There was no mention of a locked computer.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 17, 2021 at 17:09

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