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10.4: Move items from read-only folders as non-admin System 10.4
In Panther, it was possible for a user to rearrange items within folders to which they didn't have write privileges by simply holding down the Command key modifier while dragging, and supplying admin credentials when asked to authenticate. If nothing else, this ability was useful in convincing users that it really wasn't necessary to work in an admin account, let alone enable root. Yet in Tiger, this is no longer possible as yet another useful feature has been removed from the Finder -- the user is not given the opportunity to authenticate at all to move items out of a read-only folder (Command-dragging to add items still works).

Of course it is possible to change permissions using Get Info, or move the item from the command line with sudo, but these methods lack the simple elegance of the past approach (definitely a step backward in usability). Furthermore, both these solutions require additional actions to restore the original state -- permissions have to be switched back, and in the case of the command line, System Preferences have to be locked up, since they are automatically unlocked by simply switching to an admin user on the command line. Forgetting to do this follow-up could leave the system in a mildly less secure state than it was in before.

If one is mindful of the dangers, a somewhat risky but convenient workaround for using the GUI to move items out of restricted folders is to move them to the Trash first. If a user with insufficient privileges initiates a move to the Trash (be it by dragging or using the Command-delete keyboard combination), the appearance of a password prompt is triggered. Upon successful authentication, the items end up in the Trash, after which they can be Command-dragged to their intended destination.

Heed any warning dialogues though -- if, for example, the user's Trash folder has incorrect permissions, the item is on a separate volume and that volume's Trash has incorrect permissions, or the item is on a network volume, moving the item to the Trash may cause it to be immediately and permanently deleted should the warnings be ignored.

[robg adds: I would be very cautious before using this solution, especially relative to the warnings at the end -- it's entirely possible to accidentally permanently delete something. If one is running as a non-admin user and needs to do this, my preferred solution would be to switch to an admin account via fast user switching.]
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10.4: Move items from read-only folders as non-admin
Authored by: Mikey-San on Sep 20, '06 08:26:28AM

I hear you can also take off your car's tires by first driving into <em>pools of acid.</em>

There's no pragmatic benefit to this hint. Why was it even posted?



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