I have been using MAMP for a few years now, I just updated to macOS Catalina, it seems that macOS Catalina is blocking permissions to the Documents folder among a few others (such as Downloads and Desktop).

I have already checked the permissions on these files with terminal and that doesn't seem to be the issue.

Additionally I have

The server gives me this error:


You don't have permission to access /Users/xxx/Downloads/index.html on this server.

The Apache log gives me this error:

[Wed Oct 09 12:31:30 2019] [error] [client ::1] (1)Operation not permitted: file permissions deny server access: /Users/xxx/Downloads/index.html, referer: http://localhost/Users/xxx/

It seems to be an issue with the way macOS is restricting permissions to certain directories. In the settings panel under Security and Privacy there are additional settings for file access, I have granted MAMP those permissions, in addition I have also went inside the MAMP folder and granted Apache's httpd the same permissions, still no luck.

Does anyone have a work around? This is causing me such a headache in development.

  • When I start MAMP it asks for Admin password and then runs perfectly. Are you using new MAMP? – Volatil3 Oct 10 '19 at 11:12
  • Yeah, it's not that. As Johan van Dam posted below, it seems to only be a bug on port 80. Switching ports seems to be the best fix for this problem currently. – tony Oct 10 '19 at 19:15

I have the same issues. Updated MAMP to the latest build (5.5). Also switched the ports back to MAMP default ports (8888). That worked for me. Also checked if some diffrent server was running on port 80 lsof -nP -i4TCP:80 | grep LISTEN but nothing seem to be using port 80. Could it be Catalina has a new security setting for this?

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  • For the record resetting to default ports completely solved it for me. Thanks! – mackycheese21 May 26 at 20:35

Catalina has more restrictions on system folders which we can apply an exception:

  1. Open System Preferences -> Security and Privacy -> Privacy tab -> Full Disk Access -> Press 'Unlock to make changes' padlock

  2. Open Finder Window -> "Go" menu -> "Go to folder" -> type "/usr/sbin/"

  3. Drag the file "httpd" to the list inside the Full Disk Access settings.

  4. Restart Mamp servers

enter image description here

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  • This worked for me! – Dayron Gallardo Dec 7 '19 at 19:31
  • I've been banging my head for hours and this very very simple solution solved the issue in 30 seconds! Many many many thankyou! – Aerendir Jan 28 at 23:06
  • Thanks, you save my life :-) – l1th1um Jan 30 at 19:32
  • 4 hours i worked on this. thanks. – pgee70 Mar 30 at 9:58
  • Awesome! Thanks! – NSukonny Jun 1 at 12:36

Also had Apache not starting after upgrade to Catalina. I had my websites originally located in subfolders of the /Users/***/Sites/ folder, and according to this thread, made a new folder /Users/***/Repos and moved all websites there and updated MAMP Pro doc roots for all hosts. That didn't allow Apache to start.

After that, I found this info:

Check your Template folder, located in /Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/appsolute/MAMP PRO/template/httpd.conf.temp. Rename this file to httpd.conf.temp.bak and try to restart your Apache server.

on this page https://appsolute.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/215197286-My-Apache-Server-will-not-start-

and after doing that, Apache in Mamp Pro was able to start on Catalina.

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  • There's nothing in that folder for me – tony Oct 11 '19 at 19:01

I have the same issue after update but didn't find any solution yet. For now I moved all my projects into a new folder in root. This one worked for me so far.

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Same issue here.

Solution: Move your folders into another path (example: Home), don't use Documents or Download or other system folders.


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  • Thanks - I was using documents and had the same issue - moved that now and its all working :) – Simon Pollard Feb 28 at 13:14

Several applications (GIMP for example) are not working also (they can't access "special" folders like: ~/Desktop, ~/Documents and ~/Downloads, but other locations seem to work OK). I believe this is a "complementary feature" bestowed by the newly-released Catalina. Update Different.

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  • Sorry, not helpful. – stack-delay May 17 at 16:38
  • You deserve to have a view, but I've stated clearly but other locations seem to work OK, @stack-delay – ibic May 18 at 11:24

Got this problem too. Same as @ecraciun I have moved my project into /Users/MyUser/Project and now it's work!

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