How to block folders and files in macOS and what it is for


When using a computer, it is impossible not to think about the measures of your protection. And we are not talking about the safety of some items, but about digital storage media. It is no coincidence that we protect both our computers and files and folders on them with a password – all for the sake of the safety of our data and protecting them from being read and changed. Just thinking about external enemies, do not forget about protecting yourself from yourself.

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What is it for?

Surely each of us had situations when we changed a file by mistake or moved a folder to a new location. The worst thing is when you do it unconsciously and understand the problem, when the necessary information suddenly does not appear where it should be.

MacOS provides the ability to lock files, folders, and desktop elements to prevent unwanted changes. This method does not require setting a password. This is a simple “lock” that will prevent you or someone else from editing, moving, or even deleting a required file or folder.

This is how it works.

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How do I lock a file or folder?

It only takes a couple of clicks to lock any file or folder on your Mac.

Right-click on the desired file or folder and select “Properties“. You can also go in another way: select a file or folder and click File → Properties on the menu bar.

How to lock a file and folder on Mac and what it is for

Now in the information window in the section “The main“Check the box next to the”Protection“. The closed padlock icon appears in the lower left corner of the locked element icon.

How to lock a file and folder on Mac and what it is for

This method works even in open files, but not in all applications.

Click on the file name and in the opened small window activate the checkbox “Install protection“.

How to lock a file and folder on Mac and what it is for

How to lock a file and folder on Mac and what it is for

You can use the folder lock feature to protect your important document folder or your desktop.

Here’s what happens after the folder is locked:

No new items can be added… Therefore, if you try to create a new folder, you will see a message asking for a password to create it. Or, if you try to drag an item from a folder to a protected folder, you will see a circle with a line through it, which prohibits the action.

Items cannot be deleted… If you try to delete an item, for example, drag it to another folder, then only a copy of the original item will appear there. The original will still remain on your Desktop.

You cannot rename objects. You cannot rename items until you enter your password in the pop-up message.

In addition to the points listed above, there are a few other things to keep in mind to lock folder items.

You can delete a locked folder, but at the same time, when you try to move a file or folder from a locked folder to the Trash, a confirmation message will appear. Therefore, for example, to protect files and folders on the Desktop, it is worth blocking not the files themselves, but only the Desktop folder. After that, all files and folders on the Desktop will be protected from changes and deletion.

If you try to edit an item, you will see a message stating that it is locked. You will be asked if you want to unlock or create a copy of the file.

How to lock a file and folder on Mac and what it is for

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How to unlock a file or folder

To unlock a file or folder, follow the same steps as to lock it. Open “Properties“Of your item and uncheck the”Protection“.

How to lock a file and folder on Mac and what it is for

It should be understood that using these methods to lock folders, files or the desktop will not ensure their maximum security from outsiders – for this you need to set up password protection. But on the other hand, such a simple way will save you from accidentally making changes to a valuable document or from deleting the desired file or folder.

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