I am using OS X El Capitan.

I edit the .m3u files that are playlists with TextEdit. After editing and trying to play the playlist files I receive the "is damaged and can't be opened" message.

I can get around this by adjusting the whole system security (system preferences -> security and privacy) to allow apps downloaded from anywhere but I'd like to somehow set .m3u files to be editable without security concerns instead of changing the whole system to be less secure.

How can I get the .m3u extension to be ignored by this type of security.

  • 3
    Also, don’t use TextEdit to edit text files used by the system like this. Instead, use text editor such as Atom which is designed for coding and editing files like that. Apr 30 '18 at 1:13

.m3u files are really nothing more than just basic plain text files. My guess is that you're getting this issue because TextEdit is not currently set to use plain text as its format.

You don't specify what version of macOS you're running, but in the more recent versions of TextEdit you can change how it deals with file formats by default.

Change the default TextEdit format

You can change the default TextEdit format as follows:

  1. Launch TextEdit
  2. Go to TextEdit > Preferences... (or just use the command, shortcut)
  3. Ensure you have the New Document tab
  4. At the top you'll see three options for Format. Select the Plain text option.
  5. Exit preferences

Now when you edit an existing .m3u file (i.e. it already has the .m3u extension) then it should be fine.

If you create a new file, be it a .m3u file or one in another format, you will need to manually add the extension to the filename when you save it. If not, it will default to the Plain Text extension (i.e. .txt) instead. You can also change this behaviour in Preferences by going into the Open and Save tab and unticking the checkbox for Add ".txt" extension to plain text files.

  • 2
    What is it using instead? Considering that it's a text editor.
    – hobbs
    Apr 30 '18 at 4:25
  • By default recent versions of TextEdit use the Rich Text Format (.rtf). However, via preferences you can change this to Plain Text (.txt) and also set how TextEdit should behave in relation to other files such as HTML files (e.g. should it display HTML files as formatted text or as HTML code.
    – Monomeeth
    Apr 30 '18 at 4:38

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