How to grant access to folders on macOS Catalina

Since the release of macOS 10.14 Mojave, Apple has included a new security feature that ensures third-party applications protect your data. Practically speaking, this means that you have to manually grant access to your apps in order to let them work with the user`s files.

With the recent macOS 10.15 Catalina version, security rules have become more stringent. The system provides notifications of any attempts to access your data. If an app wants to use data from a particular folder, you would need to grant access to it from within the app, and again confirm this action in the system alert. Currently, macOS Catalina requires that you provide access to your Documents, Desktop, Downloads, and Bin folders, iCloud Drive, the folders of third-party cloud storage providers, removable media, and external drives.

Duplicate File Finder is a software tool that finds and removes unneeded duplicate files, folders and similar photos from your Mac. Understandably, the recent changes regarding file permissions have also affected the way Duplicate File Finder works. In this article, we will show how to provide access to your data and continue using apps as usual, using Duplicate File Finder as an example.

Contents:

1. The first scan alerts
2. How to grant access to folders
3. How to grant access to Full Disk
4. How to grant access to Photos
5. Troubleshooting

 

First scan

When using Duplicate File Finder for the first time, the application will need to obtain permission to access folders before scanning. The app will notify you via several pop-up windows, which request access to specific folder/s. Click OK to give the application access to the folder/s for scanning.

  • grant access photos library

  • grant access to documents on Catalina

Even if you decline access, the scan can proceed with the exception of the requested folders. If you’d like to allow Duplicate File Finder access to scan Documents, Desktop, Downloads and another time, read on to learn how.

 

How to grant access to folders permission

If you see a window with the notification Some folders cannot be checked, you must provide the Duplicate File Finder application access to folders in order to find all duplicates. To do this, complete the following steps:

  1. Click on the Apple menu icon apple menu and select System Preferences.
  2. Select the Security & Privacy section.
  3. Click on the Privacy tab, then select the Files and Folders.
  4. security and privacy

  5. Click the lock in the bottom left corner and enter your password to make changes.
  6. Choose the Duplicate File Finder app and mark all the folders to which you want to provide Duplicate File Finder access:
    • Select Removable Volumes to provide access to scan files on external drives.
    • Select Network Volumes to provide access to scan files on network drives.
    • Select Downloads, Documents, and Desktop folders to provide access to scan files in these folders on your local disk.
  7. Click the lock to save changes.
  8. files and folders

    After making changes in System Preferences, it is possible that a window like this may appear:

    pop-up window

    We advise clicking on Quit Now to complete changes.

  9. Launch Duplicate File Finder and rescan your Mac with full access to folders on your computer.
For example, the application has asked you to give permission to access the Trash Bin folder, but you refused. In this case, you cannot go into the System Preferences and give a specific application access to the Trash Bin folder. Therefore, you need to give the application Full Disk Access so that the documents in the Trash Bin are accessible.

 

Full Disk Access

In case you want to scan your whole disk with Duplicate File Finder or if you just don’t have enough time to select all the necessary folders manually, you can grant Full Disk Access.

By choosing the Full Disk Access option, you can grant access to every single folder for duplicate scanning rather than one folder at a time.
For this, take these steps:

  1. Open the System PreferencesSecurity & PrivacyPrivacy → select the Full Disk Access.
  2. section full disk access

  3. Click the Lock in the bottom left corner and enter your password to make changes.
  4. If Duplicate File Finder is displayed in the list, tick the checkbox.
  5. add to full disk access

  6. If Duplicate File Finder is not displayed, add the app to the list by following these steps:
    • Click on the Plus button.
    • Select the Duplicate File Finder in the Applications folder.
    • Click Open to confirm.

    full disk access

  7. Click the lock to save changes.
  8. Note! After making changes in System Preferences it is possible that a window like this may appear:
    pop-up window

    We advise clicking on Quit Now to apply the changes.

  9. Then launch Duplicate File Finder and rescan your Mac with Full Disk Access on your computer.

 

line Photos

Photos Permission

In case you see a window with the notification Photos Library cannot be checked, – you need to provide the Duplicate File Finder application with access to the Photos app in order to search for duplicates. For this, take the following steps:

  1. Click on the Apple menu icon apple menu and select System Preferences.
  2. Select the Security & Privacy section.
  3. Click on the Privacy tab and select Photos.
  4. photos section

  5. Click the Lock in the bottom left corner and enter your password to make changes.
  6. Select Duplicate File Finder to allow the app access to Photos. Then click the lock to save changes.
  7. duplicate finder

  8. Launch Duplicate File Finder and rescan your Mac with the full access to Photos on your computer.

Even after you have granted access to the Photos app, Duplicate File Finder and other third-party programs that work with Photos on your Mac, you may still encounter some problems. You may see a pop-up window stating that the application does not have access to Photos in the following situations:

  • Your pictures are stored outside the Photos app. In this example, the system does not have Photos Library. However, in Duplicate File Finder, you can choose other folders in which your photos are stored.
  • Your Photos Library is empty. If there are no images in Photos Library, choose the folders in which you usually store your pictures for scanning via Duplicate File Finder.
  • photos library is empty

  • Use as System Photo Library is not selected in the Preferences of the Photos app. It is highly recommended to enable this option to allow Duplicate File Finder to work properly with the Photos app.
  • grant access photo library

  • Copy items to the Photos Library is not selected in the Preferences of the Photos app. In this case, all the imported images to Photos from other sources will be shown in the Photos Library. However, without full data they are only previews of the original pictures. Therefore, Duplicate File Finder can not scan them to provide you with the correct results. For best results, enable this option so that the app can work with your images in Photos.
  • grant access photos on Catalina

  • Your Photos Library is on external or remote storage. Currently, Duplicate File Finder can not scan pictures in those locations, but But this issue will be solved with the next software update. However, you can transfer the Photos Library onto your Mac, where Duplicate File Finder can scan it.

Troubleshooting

If there are folders that have not been rescanned due to lack of access, you can edit this in the Get Info window in the Finder. For this, follow the next steps:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Select the folder, to which you want to provide access and right-click.
  3. Select Get Info from the menu that appears.
  4. downloads get info

  5. Click on the Sharing & Permissions section.
  6. sharing & permissions section

  7. Select Read only or Read & Write next to your user name.
  8. downloads on mac

  9. Open Duplicate File Finder and rescan the folders.

If you have other questions regarding the Duplicate File Finder application, feel free to email us at [email protected].

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