Running repairs: Sierra’s handy tools, from Disk Utility to Storage Management

macOS 10.12 Sierra brings limited changes to the many bundled utilities. In general these are similar to the last version bundled with El Capitan, but there are some brand new tools too.

Disk Utility

Version 16.0 has changed little since El Capitan, but a few anomalies are apparent.

Its display of information regarding S.M.A.R.T. status is confusing, though. An internal Fusion Drive, which has readily accessible status for both its hard disk and SSD components, reports that status only for the whole Fusion Drive. Display the Info for that Fusion Drive and there is no mention of S.M.A.R.T. status at all; display it for the volume, though, and you are told that S.M.A.R.T. status is “Not Supported”.

Apple’s support for S.M.A.R.T. status remains patchy at best (it is still not available for most external disks, unless connected by Thunderbolt), and far inferior to that available in third party tools such as DriveDx. It is time for Apple to address that.


As in El Capitan, Disk Utility offers no ability to repair permissions, because this is deemed unnecessary with SIP applied to the great majority of system folders and files.

If you do think that your startup drive needs First Aid repair, you are still much better restarting in Recovery mode and running Disk Utility there.


An AppleRAID assistant guides you through the creation of software RAID volumes, with three basic types available, RAID 0, 1, and Spanning. These can be ‘stacked’ into combinations like RAID 50 and 0+1. You can also access the RAID Utility directly in /System/Library/CoreServices/Applications/

The full range of tools remains accessible in the command line’s diskutil, which still lacks verifyPermissions and repairPermissions, removed in OS X 10.11. A new set of verbs has been added to support APFS, Apple’s pre-release file system.

Keychain Access

Version 9.0 does not appear to have changed significantly. There is still no facility to repair keychains. If a keychain does become damaged, the only workaround remains copying and pasting its contents into a new keychain.

Script Editor

Version 2.9 appears little-changed, and has the same limited functionality that it has had for many years. Folder Actions Setup is tucked away in /System/Library/CoreServices/Applications/ should you need it.

Network Utility

Version 1.9.1 appears not to have changed.

Storage Management

This is a new app, version 1.0, located in /System/Library/CoreServices/Applications/, which handles the Optimized Storage and other features now offered through the Storage tab in the About This Mac dialog.

Other utilities such as Activity Monitor, Terminal, etc., appear to be largely unchanged. If you have discovered any important or valuable new features, please let us know by posting a comment about them here.