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I have a bunch of questions about this dialog.

  • What part of macOS pops up this dialog?
  • How can I find out what resources (in this case) Adobe Installer needs access to?
  • At least, is there a way to see what changes the program made after the fact?

IMHO, this is one of the most serious atrocities of Apple's "user friendly" UI -- asking for admin password and not providing any information to help user make the decision.

enter image description here

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    It's no different to Windows' UAC in that respect - the significant difference is it's already tested the app to see if it's correctly signed & notarized before it lets it get that far - developer.apple.com/developer-id
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 2, 2022 at 10:26

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To answer the middle question: installer programs often have a menu item called something like ‘Files’ or ‘List Files’; selecting that brings up a window listing the full pathnames of all files that the installer will write. So if the installer provides that, it will help you to decide whether to install the app.

To pick a fairly common example, here is a screenshot of the Zoom Desktop Client installer, showing the ‘Show Files’ menu item:

screenshot of the Zoom Desktop Client installer program, showing the File menu with a Show Files menu item.

And here is the window it opens up:

‘Files from Zoom’ window showing a list of files that it will install

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  • Never seen that in my entrile life. Dec 14, 2022 at 17:07
  • @Bohemian Please see the screenshots I've just added. Of course, many apps are simply dragged into place and don't use an installer program — but of those that do, I haven't seen one without a ‘List Files’ function. It seems to be a standard feature.
    – gidds
    Dec 16, 2022 at 15:11
  • This is just the list of what's inside the application itself. It doesn't need elevated permissions to just copy that stuff to /Applications. But the installer asks form admin password. The question is "how do I find out what protected resources the installer plans to modify?" Other than the files inside the .app file. See what I mean? Dec 21, 2022 at 18:00

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