How to Fix (Most) App Permission Problems in OSX

If you have used Workgroup Manager or Parental Controls to restrict access to apps for a particular user or computer, you may have run into the following dialog box when trying to run an app that should have worked right:

Besides the obvious, adding the app to the allowed applications list, we have some suggestions that may help in specific situations.

  1. Apple Engineers have suggested that we not add applications themselves to the Allowed Applications list, but rather add them as folders to the Allow Applications in these Folders list.  This allows supporting applications that are contained within the app to inherit permission to run.
  2. Add /Library or /Library/Application Support to the Allow Applications in these Folders list.  Many applications place a launch agent, updater, or other supporting files in these folders.
  3. If you encounter the above error in a lab or across a campus after a new application installation, update or other unexpected event, assuming the same user account and permissions exist on affected computers.  Rather than visiting each computer to click Always Allow... and enter your username and password, do it just once, then run the following commands:
    • On the computer working properly at the terminal, using ssh or ARD as root, run the following:
      • dscl . -exportmcx /Users/username/ -o /username.mcx.plist
    • Using ARD copy the file (/username.mcx.plist) from the working computer to all affected computers, then using Run Unix Command... run the following, using the root account:
      • dscl . -importmcx /Users/username /username.mcx.plist
      • rm /username.mcx.plist
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