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When I try to update Stata, why do I get “cannot write in directory /Applications/Stata /.tmp” with error code “r(603);”?

Title   Changing Stata folder permissions to update Stata
Author Peter Fuschich, StataCorp

Stata returns cannot write in directory /Applications/Stata/.tmp with the r(603); error code when trying to update Stata on Mac computers:

. update all
(contacting http://www.stata.com)
cannot write in directory /Applications/Stata/.tmp

The reason that Stata cannot update is that it does not have the correct permissions. To update Stata, you will need to change the permissions of the files in your Stata folder so that your user account can make changes to the Stata files. To do this, you will need to have administrator access and know your computer’s Administrator password.

To change the permissions of the Stata folder, and the files therein, do the following:

  • Open the Applications folder, and select the Stata folder.

  • From the main menu bar, select File and click on Get Info.
  • Click on the arrow next to Sharing & Permissions: to display the permissions properties and resize the window if necessary.

  • Click on the lock at the bottom of the window, and authenticate yourself as the administrator.
  • Change the privileges next to the second item under Name (it may be admin) from Read to Read & Write.
  • Then, click on the gear button, and select Apply to enclosed items.

Note: It is very important that you make sure that the Get Info window is for Stata Info and not for any other folder, or you will end up changing permissions for the wrong folder’s files.

If you would like a more in-depth explanation of Mac privileges, visit Apple support.