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I believe I have too much security on my mac. Whenever I try changing a file name or install a program I have to enter my laptop's password. Moreover, I cannot quickly access downloaded programs because they are from unidentified developers, and I must right-click > open in order for me to run them. That is really frustrating. Do I need to my laptop to be THAT secure (due to recent malware attacks on Macbooks ? ) Can I chance the settings to have it a bit more flexible ?

Platform : Mountaion Lion Retina Macbook Pro

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Not sure what I did wrong to get a -1 .. so thank you whoever did that – Render Oct 16 '12 at 1:16
How are you installing the programs? What file's names are you trying to change? – segiddins Oct 16 '12 at 2:06
For example, I download a program and it says it cannot run the program because it is from an unknown developer. If I install a package, it asks for my laptop's password mid-way. – Render Oct 16 '12 at 2:57

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

You can disable Gatekeeper in System Preferences:

This removes the warnings about opening files downloaded from the internet:

defaults write LSQuarantine -bool false

It doesn't affect the dialogs about opening applications for the first time though.

You can run Finder as root with osascript -e 'quit app "Finder"' && sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/, but it's not really meant to be done permanently.

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What is disadvantage of disabling Gatekeeper ?? Does malware have a higher chance of infecting my laptop this way ? – Render Oct 16 '12 at 4:01
You'll still be shown a warning when an application tries to open itself for the first time. There isn't even that much malware for Macs yet. – ؘؘؘؘ Oct 16 '12 at 4:32
What about folder permissions ? I am an administrator but sometimes I don't have rights to write a program, just read only .. – Render Oct 16 '12 at 16:03
Being an Administrator doesn't mean much. Permissions are completely separate. Don't disable Gatekeeper, it makes it really hard to keep your system secure. You can 'unquarantaine' files, this is what you want. Using right-click -> open while keeping control pressed removes the quarantaine status, but you can do that using a droplet as well, see my answer. – John Keates Jan 28 at 19:54

You can make an AppleScript droplet to clear quarantaine status on items. From elsewhere on the internet:

on open paths
    set xattr to "xattr -dr"
    repeat with path in paths
        set xattr to xattr & space & quote & POSIX path of path & quote
    end repeat
    do shell script xattr
end open

Open Applescript, paste the text, save as an Application. To use, drop files onto the app, making sure you drop ZIPs or DMGs instead of the files they contain. If you already expanded the ZIP and it contained an app, you won't be able to use the droplet with it.


What this basically does is use the xattr command to clean the quarantaine status on the file you drop on top of the applet.

You can extend the script to "open" the file after clearing it, see the AppleScript documentation to see how to do that.

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