Maintain File Ownership & Privileges When Copying With Duplicate Exactly in Mac OS X

Mar 10, 2012 - 3 Comments

Duplicate Exactly in Mac OS X

Modern versions of Mac OS X include a nice new ability to be able to duplicate and paste files exactly. Basically this means that if a file is owned by another user, Duplicate Exactly and Paste Exactly will preserve the files original ownership and permissions, rather than copy the file with the current user becoming the new owner.

Using Duplicate Exactly on Mac

Select a file or folder within the Finder and hit Command+Option+Shift+D to perform an exact duplication. You will be presented with a window to authenticate the copy to allow the ownership state to maintain consistency.

Maintain File Ownership with Duplicate Exactly in OS X

The duplicate will be placed alongside the original, maintaining ownership integrity.

Using Paste Exactly on Mac

Similarly, there is also a new feature that lets you Paste Exactly, maintaining the same ownership and permissions when using cut and paste in the Mac OS X Finder. This is activated with Command+Shift+Option+V after a file or folder has already been placed in the clipboard buffer.

These two tips are geared for more advanced users and administrators who are altering another users files or directories. Try them out the next time you are editing another users files and save yourself a potential headache.

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Posted by: William Pearson in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Slin Jin says:

    Hmm… Is Apple doing too much these days? Next thing you know, I’ll be installing custom drivers and debugging stuff…

  2. Tom says:

    Great tip!! Thx!!

  3. william says:

    I’ve recently run into serious system errors requiring a TimeMachine backup/fix. This was due to customizing icons in the extensions folder’s IO series of kext packages (IOCD, IODVD, etc). Someone on the Apple community board responded to my question about my new problem/occurrence by saying that some sys files/xtensions are “codesigned” and can’t be modified as before. My question to you is, does this new c/v method you’ve posted here solve this issue? If not, ss there another way you know? If so please explain. Thanks in advance,


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