Whenever I copy a program into the Applications folder on my Mac, I have to use admin rights to do that. My standard user account (marc) does not have admin rights, so I get an alert and have to fill in the right credentials. I'm the only user on this computer.

I've done that many times, but often ask myself if this is safe, and if it's better to chown the whole Applications folder to my standard user account (marc).

  1. When copy with admin rights, does the program get admin rights? Maybe I'm wrong about that, and there is no risk involved?
  2. With admin rights, the program has access to my user account, so why not limit all it can do to that user, as there are no other users?
  3. Are there downsides or other concerns when I do this?

Maybe it's useless to change it. I've wondered several times what is best. And if I do this, I'll first make an entire copy of the Applications folder so I can get back (of course I have that already with my backups).

1 Answer 1


Do not do this. It will be much less safe. You aren't giving the applications permission to run as admin. What's happening is that you are giving the Finder temporary permission to write to the Application folder. When you run it, it will be run under your account with your permissions. If you were to "chown" the Applications folder, it would make it much easier for some malware to write to the Applications folder without you knowing, potentially replacing some trusted program.

Just leave it be. It's much more secure the way it is.


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