Recently after updating an app (Watchman's watchman, using Homebrew) is behaving like it no longer has access to Files & Folders, despite the fact that I have given it access in Security settings. In fact, I have several (old?) instances that I've given access:

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Is there a reason that an app would behave this way? I'd originally thought it might be an issue with the app itself, but have not seen reports that this is the case, and am now thinking something may be wrong with how I've set up Privacy for the app?

Are there other settings that might be affecting an app's access to Files & Folders? I know I can give the app Full Disk Access, which would also cover Files & Folders, but doing that does not fix the issue.

Or is the issue perhaps something to do with my Files & Folders settings in general? There a few things that make me wonder:

  1. Multiple entries for the same item, all of which seem to indicate uninstalled versions of the item.
  2. Unresponsiveness of the UI. For several (though not all) items I have to click many times and wait before a click has any effect.
  3. Inability to manually add or remove items. I see the +/- control at the bottom but it's never enabled (as it is for Full Disk Access). Is it supposed to be?

Is this how the Files & Folders settings UI is supposed to work?


1 Answer 1


No - a well behaved app should remain with the same identity and not fork things. If this is the only app, you might have luck removing it.

If other apps are forking permissions, a more general reset might be in order if you can't sort out why the items repeat.

When you reset everything in the database with tccutil, it bulk removes all entries for that app or class.

Reset all decisions for the specified service, causing apps to prompt again the next time they access the service. If a bundle identifier is specified, the service will be reset for that bundle only.

I would use mdls to determine the bundle for that app and attempt a reset and see if you like the results. Especially if you have a good backup of that Mac just in case.

  • Removing it seems to have no effect. What about the other items (2 and 3). Is that how it's supposed to behave?
    – orome
    Jun 1, 2022 at 16:40
  • If the other behaviors are also not expected (and there might be a 4th, see next) then it sounds like I need to reset. What will the consequences of that be? Will I just have to go back and reenable what I need (and will probably be asked for)?
    – orome
    Jun 1, 2022 at 16:47
  • (The 4th thing is that I think sometimes when I click one one item an entirely different item in a different app changes, which suggests something is really messed up. I might be hallucinating that though; I've been at this for a while.)
    – orome
    Jun 1, 2022 at 16:47
  • Might be better to focus on one item per question @orome - the design intent is clear that you shouldn’t have to wrangle multiple instances. Troubleshooting and narrowing what happened on one Mac is a bit harder to do remotely.
    – bmike
    Jun 1, 2022 at 17:10
  • Not sure what you mean. It's all one thing: are the behaviors 1-3 expected or not? For example, if 3 is unexpected, it suggests a major reset is needed, if it's just 1, it suggests that we have a problem with just the app making multiple appearances.
    – orome
    Jun 1, 2022 at 17:13

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