The “PermErr Software lock on file; Not a subscriber” error is a permissions error that can occur when interacting with files in your Music library on a Mac. This frustrating error prevents you from accessing files and making changes to your music collection. Thankfully, the fix is relatively simple – you just need to adjust file and folder permissions in the Finder. Here’s a step-by-step guide to resolving this error for good.
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What Causes MAC Error PermErr ?
The “permErr Software lock on file; Not a subscriber” error message indicates that your user account lacks the correct permissions to access or modify a file or folder. Here are some common triggers for this error:
- Adding new files to your Music library
- Removing files from your Music library
- Editing file metadata (artist name, album, etc) in Get Info windows in the Music app
- Syncing your Music library between your Mac and iPhone or iPad
In each case, your user account doesn’t have the necessary read and write permissions to make changes to files in your Music folder and library.
Step 1: Navigate to the Problematic File/Folder
First, you need to locate the specific file or folder triggering the permissions error. Open Finder and navigate to your Music folder:
Try to reproduce the action that caused the error message to appear. Did it happen when adding a particular album? Does editing information for a certain song trigger it? Take note of which file or folder causes the permission error.
Step 2: Get Info and Check Permissions
Once you’ve identified the problematic file or folder, right-click on it and select “Get Info” from the context menu.
In the “Sharing & Permissions” section of the Get Info window, look for your username and make sure it has “Read & Write” access.
If your user account doesn’t have Read & Write access, you’ll need to add yourself and update the permissions.
Step 3: Unlock Settings to Modify Permissions
To change permissions settings, you first need to unlock the settings by clicking on the lock icon in the bottom right corner of the Get Info window.
Enter your admin account password when prompted. This grants you permission to modify the user access and permissions for this file or folder.
Step 4: Add Your User Account
With settings unlocked, click the “+” button below the list of users to add a new user.
Select your username from the list and make sure it is checked.
Step 5: Grant Your User Read & Write Access
With your account added to the permissions list, select it and then change the permission level to “Read & Write” using the dropdown menu.
This grants your user the ability to read, modify, and delete the file or folder without triggering the permissions error.
Step 6: Apply Changes to Enclosed Items
For permissions changes to fully resolve the error, you need to apply them recursively to all enclosed files and folders.
Click on the gear icon in the bottom left corner of the Get Info window, then choose “Apply to enclosed items” from the dropdown menu. This propagates your permission changes to everything inside the folder.
Step 7: Test the Fix
Close the Get Info window and try to reproduce the action that was triggering the permissions error. For example, try adding a new file to the folder or editing metadata.
If the error still occurs, you may need to repeat steps 2-6 checking that permissions were changed at the correct level.
Fixing Permission Errors for Your Entire Music Library
In some cases, adjusting permissions on individual files or folders doesn’t fully resolve the issue. This is often true if you’ve moved your Music library between different storage devices or Macs.
If you still get the “permErr Software lock on file; Not a subscriber” after trying the above steps, there is a more aggressive fix. Here is the process:
- Backup your entire Music folder to an external disk just in case.
- Delete the Music folder from your Mac. This removes any corrupted files or incorrect permissions settings.
- Re-add the Music folder from your backup. The files will be added back with the default permissions.
This essentially resets all file permissions to their original state. Between the backup and permissions reset, it should fully fix even the most stubborn instances of the error.
Understanding File Permissions on Mac
To avoid permissions-related errors in the future, it helps to understand how file access works on Mac OS.
Each file and folder on your Mac has an associated permissions setting that controls which users can access it and what operations they can perform.
There are three basic permission levels:
- Read – View and open the file
- Write – Modify and delete the file
- Execute – Run executable files or enter folders
When you create new files as a user, you automatically get read and write access. The “permErr Software lock” error occurs when permissions get changed or corrupted such that your own user account loses this access.
By resetting permissions to allow your user read and write privileges again, you resolve the error and regain full access to your files.
Summary of Fixes
Here’s a quick summary of the steps to fix the MAC Error PermErr “permErr Software lock on file; Not a subscriber” error:
- Identify the problematic file/folder
- Open Get Info and check current permissions
- Unlock settings with admin password
- Add your user account if missing
- Grant your user Read & Write access
- Apply permission changes to enclosed items
- Test the fix – add files/edit metadata
- Backup and reset Music folder permissions if still not fixed
With this simple permissions tweak, you can get back to enjoying your music library without annoying errors. Let us know if you have any other questions!