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Mike, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 2186
Experience:  Apple trained Technician, A+ Certified, 20+ years of Mac support, repairs, training, and consulting
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I dragged one account user desktop to another account user

Customer Question

I dragged one account user desktop to another account user and now neither one has the information. My iphoto, itunes, ical, mail are all like new. None of my files are there. How can I undo this action or find the files? Thanks. Kathy
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
Hello my name is Dan.
First lets start with.
What Mac OS X version are you using and on which Mac model?
Please describe in as much detail as you can just what it was you did.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
OS X version on an imac g4 flat panel
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
OK, we have a slight conflict here but we will go with 10.4.11.
What exactly did you do to get into this mess?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Well, somehow I got to a place with all the account users listed. The computer automatically opens on my page and I thought I would drag my account onto another one called "test" and work from there to have my own private desktop and the family could use the one we have all been using called "Kathy Gillen". As soon as I dragged it a box popped up and said it was preparing to move it, which it must have done, but I don't know where it moved it too.
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
OK, that isn't so bad. In the finder window's search box type in Kathy Cillen. It will show you the path to that folder. Like this, please remember the sample is going to look somewhat different than yours will look like but will act the same.
When you click on the item you are looking for the path to where it is located will be in the bottom of the window. You can click and drag it to the hard drive icon and hover on it and it will open (don't let go of the button or you will have to repeat what you just did). Now locate the folder called Users and drop the folder you are dragging.
Logout and log back in and it should be as before.
If you want extra accounts or users that is done in System Preferences/accounts.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
sorry it is taking so long. I did that in the one named Kathy Gillen and it didn't work. Now I am doing it in the one marked Test.
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
Lets begin again. When you dragged that folder out and dropped it how did you login to the machine?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I logged in with the password XXXXX each account. Back to the Test account... I did what you said and dragged the folder to the hard drive icon and dropped it into the user file. a box popped up saying the operation could not be completed because I do not have sufficient priveleges for some items.
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
OK, now we are getting to the good stuff. I was expecting that because it means that all should be good after all.
When you saw that dialog did to authenticate? If not the repeat and do so. You must use an admin password XXXXX it won't work. Best to be in the admin account as it cuts down on the hoops to jump trough.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
How do I authenticate? I don't know what that means. The accounts are both listed as admin.
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
Click on Authenticate then type in your password. It should have done this the first time you moved it.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Where can I click on Authenticate so I can type in my password? I have not seen that option.
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
Sorry, I was getting ahead of myself. Control click on the user folder and select get info. It will look like this when it opens.

This is a sample only for reference. Unlock the lock by clicking on it and typing in your password.
Now click on the + sign and this will open.


Select your name from the list and click Select when it turns blue from holding its breath.

Now you need to give yourself read and write privileges.

See above picture.
Let me know. Bet you won't do this again.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
/Users/kathygillen/Desktop/Picture 1.png

I don't know if you can see this picture, but it does not have an option to have the list to choose a name or anything that I can sign in with my password. The only lock it has is open.
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
There are tiny triangles on the left side that are disclosure tabs. Click on those until you get the permissions one.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
This is what the Ownership & Permissions Looks like:
     You can ...Read & Write
Then an arrow and Details
     Owner:    kathygillen     and an open lock
     Acecess: read&Write
     Group:    admin
     Access:   Read & Write
     Others:   Read only
Then button to "Apply to enclosed items..."
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
Thats the one. make sure to apply to all enclosed items. Then move it back where it belongs. Logout and then login. If you don't see what should be there then restart.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
it said i do not have sufficient privileges again. this is not working.
Expert:  Mike replied 7 years ago.

After reading through this whole thread, I do believe you are in a slight pickle.

Trying to troubleshoot an issue like this is going to be hard to begin with because we cannot 'see' the Mac we are working on.

After all Dan and you tried, I cannot offer anything else that would contribute. I am recommending you get a tech there to come out to your place and see the actual locations and then be able to fix it, or take it in to an Apple Service Provider or Genius bar and have them fix it.

That's your best course of action at this point.