I had a permissions error with my Apple Mail last night. Specifically, I was receiving the following below error: “Mail can’t open because you don’t have the necessary permissions to change the folder where it saves information.”
I’ll detail what I tried to do to fix this problem, and what actually worked.
Repairing Permissions, Part One
First, I opened the Disk Utility, clicked on my Macintosh HD, and Repair Disk Permissions. While this successfully fixed a previously unknown CUPS permission issue, it didn’t do anything to fix my Apple Mail woes.
Repairing Permissions, Part Two
On my second attempt, I tried to reset the Access Control Lists (ACLs) and permissions for the home directory. This involved the following:
- Boot to the OS X install CD;
- Select ‘English’ (my native language);
- Click Utilities, the user for whom I wanted to reset the settings, and then reset their settings;
- Quit the program and boot to OS X;
- Open Macintosh HD from Finder, double click the Users folder, and click one on the User I was having permissions problems with;
- Right-click on that User, and select Get Info;
- In the Sharing and Permissions area unlock the lock, and click on the gear-like icon. Select Apply to Enclosed.
This did not resolve my problem.
The Solution: Time Machine and Capsule
To resolve my problem, I had to first delete the Mail directory in Macintosh HD:Users:<User>:Library before I could restore a backup from my Time Capsule using Time Machine. Just trying to restore the old Mail folder gave me an error that I didn’t have permissions to modify the contents of the Mail directory; this error message vanished once I actually deleted the Mail folder itself. This did resolve my problem.