How To Gain Ownership Of Affected Disk Mac Terminal

How To Articles

Have you ever encountered a situation where you needed to gain ownership of an affected disk on your Mac using Terminal? It can be a frustrating experience, but fear not, as I’m here to guide you through the process. In this article, I’ll provide you with detailed steps on how to gain ownership of an affected disk using Terminal, along with some personal tips and commentary along the way.

Understanding Ownership in macOS

Before we dive into the steps, let’s take a moment to understand what ownership means in macOS. Every file and folder on your Mac has an owner, who has certain rights and permissions to access and modify that particular file or folder. When an affected disk is encountered, it means that the ownership of certain files or folders may have been compromised, resulting in restricted access or inability to modify them.

Step 1: Opening Terminal

To begin the process, we need to open the Terminal app on your Mac. You can find it by navigating to the Applications folder, then Utilities, and finally, open Terminal. Alternatively, you can use the Spotlight search by pressing Command + Space and typing “Terminal”.

Step 2: Identifying the Affected Disk

Once Terminal is open, we need to identify the affected disk. To do this, type the following command and press Enter:

diskutil list

This command will display a list of all connected disks and their respective identifiers. Look for the identifier of the affected disk, which might be something like “disk1” or “disk2”. Take note of this identifier as we’ll be using it in the next step.

Step 3: Gaining Ownership

Now that we have identified the affected disk, we can proceed to gain ownership. To do this, type the following command, replacing “diskX” with the identifier of the affected disk:

sudo chown -R $USER /Volumes/diskX

This command uses the “chown” command with the “-R” option to recursively change ownership of all files and folders on the affected disk. The “$USER” variable ensures that ownership is transferred to the currently logged-in user. Make sure to replace “diskX” with the actual identifier of the affected disk.

After entering the command, you’ll be prompted to enter your admin password. Type it in and press Enter. Note that your password won’t be displayed as you type for security reasons.

Step 4: Verifying Ownership

Now that the ownership transfer process is complete, we can verify it by typing the following command and pressing Enter:

ls -l /Volumes/diskX

This command will list the contents of the affected disk, along with the ownership details. Ensure that your username appears as the owner for all files and folders.

My Personal Tips and Commentary

Gaining ownership of an affected disk using Terminal can feel like diving into the deep end of the pool, especially if you’re not familiar with command-line interfaces. Remember to take your time and read the instructions carefully to avoid any mistakes.

It’s always a good idea to double-check the identifier of the affected disk before executing any commands. Making changes to the wrong disk can have serious consequences, so be cautious.

If you encounter any errors or unexpected behavior during the ownership transfer process, it’s a good idea to consult Apple Support or seek assistance from experienced macOS users. Sometimes, complex disk issues require professional expertise to resolve.


Gaining ownership of an affected disk on your Mac using Terminal might seem daunting at first, but with the right steps and a little patience, you can regain control over your files and folders. By following the detailed steps outlined in this article, along with my personal tips and commentary, you’ll be able to navigate through the process confidently and effectively.

Remember, the Terminal is a powerful tool, so always proceed with caution and make sure you have a backup of your important data before making any changes to your disk.