Sub-folders on macOS require permission for every action

I’ve been using Syncthing for a few months but this issue just started when I added a new sync folder last week. Basically I have a Parent folder with many Children. If I place a file in the Parent it works fine, but if I try to put one in any of the Child folders macOS asks for permission on every action. Other folders I am syncing do not have this problem. This happens on a mac running macOS Sonoma and Ventura. There is also a Windows 11 machine in the mix but since I have older folders that work fine I don’t think that is the source of the problem? Another weird detail I noticed is if I try to move a folder out of the Parent or Child folders that are having the permission issue it copies it as if it was pulling from a external drive or remote folder.

I can’t see any difference between the folders that are working and the ones that aren’t. Help?

Is the parent and subfolders ones that you created or are they part of the default folders?

Is the folder password protected/encrypted?

They’re ones I created but as far as I can tell I created them the same way as the others I created previously that don’t show the permission prompt.

Not password protected or encrypted.

At the moment there’s not enough info to know exactly what the problem is, but it’s definitely a macOS issue rather than a Syncthing issue.

If you don’t mind using a command-line and sharing more details, what’s the directory/folder output from the following command?:

ls -le /path/to/the/parent/

It’s a list of all the files along with their unix permissions. I’d rather not copy/paste the whole thing since they’re personal files but is there something specific I could look for, or a piece to share? I compared the output from the folder to the one that is working and I didn’t see any obvious differences in the permissions.

I saw someone say that sync folders in the Home folder root can have issues but all my folders are in my Home folder and the others work fine.

No problem, quite understandable.

I’m wondering if there are ACLs on those subdirectories that are requiring an extra level of security checks.

I don’t have a Mac handy to copy and paste from, so the following example isn’t going to match exactly, but in the directory listing, look for a “+” symbol in the Unix permissions, e.g.:

drwxrwx---+ 1 syncthing syncthing 116 Oct 17 20:54 gadget

Yes, the root of the home folder cannot be written to by regular users so Syncthing is unable to create its .stfolder marker.

One simpler option might be to rename the parent directory that’s having permissions problems, then recreate the parent and child directories.

Or, if the amount of data won’t take days to transfer, temporarily move all of the files and directories to an external drive that’s been formatted as FAT32 or exFAT. Then delete the problem directory on the computer before moving the files and directories back onto the computer. Because FAT32 and exFAT don’t support user permissions beyond simple read/write, it’s a relatively easy way to “wash” away any permissions issues.

It definitely appears to be some weird permissions thing. The root folder has read/write but all child folders have read only. I found this Super User answer for how to change macOS permissions recursively easily and it seems to have worked! Hopefully it sticks and is consistent across my devices.

From the post:

You can use OSX interface:

  • Select your directory
  • Right click → Get info → Sharing & Permissions
  • Add your user
  • Set what you want privilege(Read&Write for example)
  • Сlick on the three dots near plus icon(add user)
  • Chose “Apply to enclosed items…”
  • Confirm

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction! I did not want to have to go back to Dropbox! :wink: