What does it mean if under System Preferences->Security & Privacy system software is checked and greyed out?

Are they activated by default without actually activating them in the Security & Privacy settings in the first place?

Let's say I only want to activate the Karabiner system extension (see Screenshot) but not the greyed out ones which are checked by default? How would I do that?

System Software

Some more information:

Executing sudo systemextensionsctl list

System Extensions

Here it states that e.g. GlobalProtect is activated waiting for user. What does this even mean?

  • try the ? in the bottom right of the preference pane
    – anki
    Aug 9, 2021 at 3:02
  • Welcome to Ask Different. Could it be that the greyed out system extensions come from apps that were installed by another user, or that your Mac is managed by an organisation?
    – jaume
    Aug 9, 2021 at 5:47
  • 1
    @anki this is a joke right? Aug 9, 2021 at 10:08
  • 1
    @jaume No it is not by another user, it is my personal mac with only one user account Aug 9, 2021 at 10:08
  • Welcome to Ask Different. Are you using an M1 Mac?
    – iTunes
    Aug 12, 2021 at 9:33

1 Answer 1


The state activated waiting for user means that the system extension has been loaded onto the system and ready to be enabled, however the user has not yet allowed it to be enabled.

Normally you would open System Preferences > Security & Privacy and in the General tab click the Allow button to enable the system extension.

After the user has allowed the extension to run, the state listed by systemextensionsctl should change to be activated enabled.

  • How do you check/uncheck a box if it is greyed out. There is no "normally" when this situation has occurred. I had it happen to me tonight. Reinstalling the software does nothing.
    – jml
    Sep 27 at 4:57

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