Access privileges (Catalina 10.15.7)

For sometime now I have the problem of not being able to acces certain folders and volumes (particularly Documents, Downloads and Desktop and two external volumes) on my iMac from my iPad. The warning is that I don’t have the right privileges (the warning is in Dutch, so maybe it translates different to English), though I made 100% sure I have admin rights (read/write) to these folders. When I did upgrade to Catalina and wanted to share folders/volumes (as it happened these folders/volumes I mentioned above) I could not tick the box for sharing in System Preferences/Sharing. This link: Cannot Turn File Sharing On - Apple Community and the proposed solution did work, but NOT when I did untick the File Sharing box and tried to tick it again. I had again use the above mentioned solution. I’m writing this, because I think it has to do with my “no access” problem. Lately I did discover a solution that worked. One has to startup in recovery mode and use the terminal to input the command “crsutil disable” and after that restart the computer. I now had access to ALL my folders/volumes on the iMac from my iPad. But I did some research for this command and it makes my computer rather vulnerable to malware, because it does not warn me anymore for unsigned applications among other things. Because it worked for my access problem I think somewhere it’s related. But when I enable ‘crsutil’ the problem comes back. BTW I can access many other folders like Music, Pictures etc. I hope there is a good soul to help me out, because believe me, in trying to solve the problem, I became an expert on setting privileges and adding admin accounts ;-), but to no avail!

The file sharing problem with Catalina is a known issue which has been mentioned here previously:

If you were able to reset the file sharing using Terminal, I would think it should work without disabling the SIP. I only share computer to computer so no experience with sharing using an iPad/iPhone.

I know that upgrading will solve the problem, but I have important software that is not (yet) compatible with Big Sur or Monterey. So if it is a bug and only solvable by upgrading, I will keep SIP (crsutil) disabled and take extra care when downloading/installing applications. But I still hope there is a better solution! BTW I was only able to “solve” the file sharing tick box selection issue, but NOT the access to folders/volumes problem.

I never said to upgrade. My Mac Mini 2012 cannot go past Catalina so that is what I’m using for now although I do run Monterey in a VM here and there just to get the look and feel of it but I’m fine with Catalina. I would report the bug to Apple as there may be a workaround. The file sharing issue started with the second last security update.

Sorry, I thought you suggested to upgrade by quoting about upgrading to Big Sur.

No problem. I’ve gone through issues with the last two security updates for Catalina. Besides the file sharing one, the second last update also caused NTFS drives to be read only even with the appropriate driver like Tuxera so it’s clear that Apple does botch things from time to time.

This is probably a problem with acls. Read this: Permissions and ACLs – The Eclectic Light Company

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Thanks for responding. I did already dive into ACL using TinkerTool, but I did not use yet the “reset Home” option. I will look into this! Thanks.

Reading hoakley you can get the impression that this is a recent problem, but I have run into it now and then the last 15 years working with mac user support. But as he also states, they have been implemented since 10.4. It is kind of magical seeing that a user folder goes from unusable in worst case to just working with a couple of chmod commands.

I finaly decided to install Monterey (and live with one incompatible application) and the problem has gone. It disappoints me Apple did nothing to repair this obvious bug on Catalina!