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How to give Admin user access to all on hard drive

Posted on 2007-08-12
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Last Modified: 2013-11-24
The Admin user cannot access the directories of other users, e.g. the Desltop directory. How do I change it so that the Admin user can access anything on the hard drive? (Yes, each user has a Public folder, but I want Admin to have access to all.
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Question by:allelopath
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by:DrNikon224
ID: 19679805
For that, it would be easiest to enable the 'root' account. Beware, the 'root' account is the almighty, all powerful user. You will not be prompted with "are you sure" boxes or asked to re-authenticate as an administrator while logged in as 'root'. Use with caution.

Open Terminal from the Utilities folder (while logged in as an admin user), and type:

sudo passwd root

You will then be prompted for *your* password. Enter the password for the admin user. You will then be prompted twice for another password - this will be the password for the 'root' account. Then you can logout, and login again as username root and password <whatever>. This will give you unfettered access to absolutely everything on the hard drive.

Again - enabling the root user is not something to be done without understanding the raw awesome power held by that account. You can do serious damage if you're not careful.
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by:allelopath
ID: 19679986
>>Open Terminal from the Utilities folder
Sorry, I am a complete mac beginner. How do I do this?


Also, I am accustomed to using the root user on Linux machines. Is this any different?
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by:DrNikon224
ID: 19680108
Double click the Macintosh HD icon on your desktop, then the Applications shortcut on the left side of the finder window you just opened, then open the Utilities folder therein. The Terminal application is in the Utilities folder. [or] Click the finder icon on the dock (two-tone blue smiley face looking thing) and select Utilities from the Go menu, or press Shift + Apple + U.

Root is root. Same stuff. If you're comfortable with the cli, you could just `sudo /usr/bin/su -` from Terminal and browse your users' files that way, without enabling the full root user.
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by:allelopath
ID: 19680176
>>Open Terminal from the Utilities folder (while logged in as an admin user), and type:
>>sudo passwd root
>>You will then be prompted for *your* password. Enter the password for the admin user. You will then be >>prompted twice for another password - this will be the password for the 'root' account.
check.

>>Then you can logout, and login again as username root and password <whatever>.
When I get back to the login screen, I don't see a root user. I see the Admin and the 2 accounts I created.
Can you guess what might be the problem?
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DrNikon224 earned 2000 total points
ID: 19680263
Root will not appear in the list of users at the login screen, in the accounts pane, or in the /Users folder. Root is less of a user, and more of "the computer itself". There are two options from where you are now:

Option 1: Open System Preferences, go to the Accounts section, and click on Login Options. Switch to "username and password" login. Then logout, and type root as the username, and the password for that account. Others can login by typing their username at the login screen along with their password

Option 2: Hold down the option and enter keys while at the login screen with the Admin and 2 other accounts listed, and click on one of the accounts (it doesn't matter which one). This will bring up the username and password login box. Type root as the username, and the password for that account. When you logout you will go back to the list of users.
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