Every time I restart my computer, it tries to "add a new helper tool". For instance I have to reinstall shell commands in Atom on every restart, and it prompts with the "An update is ready to install." But I see this same issue with other programs too.

Atom installs /usr/local/bin/atom -- but then when I restart it's gone.

I get the same thing from MAMP that it "wants to make changes".

And Slack gives me the same thing as Atom on every restart:

Slack is trying to add a new helper tool.

An update is ready to install. Slack is trying to add a new helper tool.

Enter an administrator's name and password to allow this.

Add Helper

Let me know what other information I can give.


Try changing the ownership of Atom.app. In my case, Atom.app was found in /Applications, and ownership was:

drwxr-xr-x 3 1699963712 365896978 102 Dec 8 12:48 Atom.app

I ran the following command:

sudo chown -R $USER:wheel /Applications/Atom.app

In my case, any program with ownership of root or the numeric code listed above would have a popup a few seconds after opening. Changing ownership of the .app directory corrected the behavior and I don't see it anymore.

I found the information at this site.

| improve this answer | |
  • Do you know why this app was owned by root in your case? – cubuspl42 Jun 3 at 15:01
  • @cubuspl42 No, I don’t. And I no longer have access to the machine to check. – Leatherwing Jun 3 at 16:25

Searching for the application and manually dragging it into the Applications folder also worked for me.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    that makes sense, but unfortunately it wasn't my issue, the app was already in there – Ryan Taylor Jun 22 '17 at 20:14

I had this annoying issue with Skype. The solution was:

  1. Enable root on MAC: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204012
  2. cd /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools
  3. su root This step requires login with admin privileges
  4. rm com.skype.Helper
| improve this answer | |
  • Could you just run sudo rm /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools/com.skype.Helper without enabling root? Your answer is helpful though. – Ryan Taylor Jan 22 '18 at 19:39
  • 2
    Enabling the root user on a Mac can open major security holes, especially for end users. If you need to use the root user by command line, I recommend using an administrator user, typing sudo su to switch to root. It will ask for a password. – juniorRubyist Feb 11 '18 at 2:24
  • For me the file was named com.skypinstaller... – James Mar 5 '18 at 20:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .