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I installed an application from AppStore called "theBin" this afternoon. It's supposed to be a smart Trash bin -- the main feature I wanted is that it automatically clears files from Trash after a period of time (I had been using a System Preference called TrashTimer, but it doesn't seem to be working since I upgraded from High Sierra to Big Sur this weekend).

I mistakenly did something that told it that my home folder was the Trash folder that it should automatically migrate to its bin, and it immediately trashed everything in my home folder. I undid this setting, and I was able to restore just about everything from a Time Machine backup.

But something is going wrong with my Documents folder. When I open the folder, all I see is this:

enter image description here

Needless to say, those aren't my real documents. When I use Get Info on any of the folders, it says:

Where: Macintosh HD > Users > barmar > Library > Containers > FolderName > Data

where FolderName is the name of that folder. None of the iChats documents will open.

Get Info on on the Documents folder is more mysterious:

enter image description here

That "unknown access" part is what bothers me.

If I do cd ~/Documents in a Terminal window, I do see my original Documents contents that I restored from TM. I can also go to subfolders by using "Go to Folder" in the Finder menu.

ls shows the following:

$ ls -leO@d Documents
drwx------@ 39 barmar  staff  - 1248 Sep  1 15:37 Documents
    com.apple.FinderInfo      32 

But I use an Emacs shell buffer rather than a Terminal window for most of my local shell work. It's not able to access the "real" Documents contents. If I try to list the directory, I get:

$ ls Documents
ls: Documents: Operation not permitted
$ xattr -l Documents
xattr: [Errno 1] Operation not permitted: 'Documents'
$ ls -leO@d Documents
drwx------@ 39 barmar  staff  - 1248 Sep  1 15:37 Documents
    com.apple.FinderInfo      -1 

I tried emailing their technical support, it failed because their domain no longer exists. I hope someone here can figure out what's happened and how to fix it.

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  • In Terminal from your $HOME directory, what is the output of: ls -leO@d Documents -- If it errors use sudo, e.g..: sudo ls -leO@d Documents Sep 1, 2021 at 20:26
  • I've added the output from both Terminal and Emacs
    – Barmar
    Sep 1, 2021 at 20:30
  • I suspect this has something to do with sandboxing. The first time I tried to access Documents from Terminal it popped up a dialogue asking for permission. But I don't get that from the Emacs shell.
    – Barmar
    Sep 1, 2021 at 20:30
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    I believe that Terminal is ok this instance and you need to give Emacs permission in that pref pane instead.
    – pion
    Sep 1, 2021 at 20:36
  • @Barmar To expand on that comment: You may need to grant Emacs permission to access Documents in System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Files and Folders. Alternatively, you can give it Full Disk Access in the same pref pane.
    – pion
    Sep 2, 2021 at 7:58

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