I am trying to set some privileges for apps to access folders using System Preferences->Security & Privacy and choosing Files and Folders.

However clicking on the buttons for an app has no effect and the + and - icons are greyed out. (Just before this clicking on the button for an app would change the button for another app0.

I am on macOS 11.6.1 and have the same issue in Safe Mode and also with a new admin user.

How do I change the permissions for files and folders

Show greyed out +/-

1 Answer 1


In this case I partially solved it by updating macOS from, BigSur to Monterey.

I can update apps in the list changing their access by clicking on the boxes. I can remove apps from the list using the - button at the bottom.

Apps can put themselves back on the list

I originally thought that the = button works but now it seems not to. Also the - button does appear to be slightly brighter so the + button might still be greyed out (the contrast is bad here) Not really a fix.

  • Can you confirm whether you can add apps? Or just toggle the existing boxes?
    – benwiggy
    Dec 15, 2021 at 10:40

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