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How Do I Fix Permissions Denied by Accident on Mac?

Authored by:
Support.com Tech Pro Team
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Introduction

If certain features in your apps aren't working right, this may be due to a permissions issue.

If you've ever clicked "Don't allow" on a popup, you may have inadvertently caused this issue.

Some things that may not be working:

  • An app can't use the camera
  • An app can't use the microphone
  • You are unable to save files
  • You can't share files with others
  • You can't share your screen with others 

Starting with macOS 10.14 Mojave, security and privacy have been increased. Whenever a new app is added to your Mac, it may ask for permission to use certain features. If these permissions are denied, the app may not function as intended.

This guide will show you how to rectify this. Here are the instructions to access your system preferences in order to fix the app permissions.

What You'll Need:
  • macOS 10.14 Mojave or later
  • An administrator account to change system preferences
Prompt from newly installed app asking for permission to use the camera on Mac.

1 Change App Permissions on Mac

If you inadvertently "don't allow" access to your computer's services or devices when you install certain apps, you can change the privacy preferences later on if you notice certain features to not work in these apps. Here's what to do:

  1. Open the Apple Menu and select System Preferences.
    Apple Menu with System Preferences highlighted.
  2. Go to Security & Privacy.
    Security & Privacy icon highlighted in System Preferences in macOS.
  3. In the Security & Privacy window go to the Privacy tab then click the Padlock at the bottom left.
    Privacy tab and Padlock icon highlighted in Security & Privacy in macOS.
  4. Enter the administrator User Name and Password then click Unlock.
    User Name and Password fields, and Unlock button highlighted on admin login prompt in macOS.
  5. In the left pane you'll find the services and devices you can grant or deny access to for the apps in the right pane.
    Left and right panes highlighted in Security & Privacy settings in macOS.
    • Location Services – Allows apps, services and websites to use your current location to provide information, services and features based on where you are.
    • Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, and Photos – Allows apps to access and manage these items.
    • Camera – Allows apps to show or record video with your camera and allows others to see you through it.
    • Microphone – Allows apps to listen to or record audio with your microphone and allows others to hear you when you speak into your microphone.
    • Speech Recognition – Allows apps to recognize human speech to perform certain tasks.
    • Accessibility – Allows apps to control your computer or someone else to control your computer remotely.
    • Input Monitoring – Allows apps to monitor your keyboard, mouse or trackpad.
    • Full Disk Access – Allows apps to access all your files on the computer.
    • Files and Folders – Allows apps to save files onto your computer and share files with others.
    • Screen Recording – Allows apps to record or show others what's on your screen.
    • Automation – Allows apps to control other apps and perform various tasks automatically.

    Some items are only available in macOS 10.15 Catalina or later. The items you need to change permissions to may be different for each app.

  6. Select the item in the left pane for which you wish to access to, then grant access to the apps you wish to allow to use that item. For example, if you denied access to Zoom to use your camera, select Camera on the left and then put a check mark next to Zoom in the right pane.
    Camera highlighted in the left pane and check marks next to Zoom highlighted in the right pane of Security & Privacy in macOS.
  7. You will be asked if you wish to restart the app. If you need to set more permissions, choose Later.
  8. Repeat the same process for each item you need to change permissions to.
  9. Once you've set all the necessary permissions, quit the app and restart it.
    How to quit and restart an app
    1. Click the application menu at top, then choose Quit at the bottom.
      Safari menu with quit safari highlighted
    2. Make sure the application leaves your Dock at the bottom or no longer has a dot underneath it.
      Running Application
      Dock icon with black dot indicating it is running
      Closed Application
      Dock icon without black dot indicating it is closed
      If the program doesn't quit properly
      1. Click on the Apple menu, then click Force Quit.
        Apple menu with Force quit highlighted
      2. Select the app you want to force close, then click Force Quit.
        Force quit dialog with application and force quit button highlighted
      3. Click Force Quit when prompted.
        force quit confirm dialog with force quit button highlighted
    3. To restart the program, click its icon on the Dock or from the Applications folder.

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If certain features in your apps aren't working right, this may be due to a permissions issue.

If you've ever clicked "Don't allow" on a popup, you may have inadvertently caused this issue.

Some things that may not be working:

  • An app can't use the camera
  • An app can't use the microphone
  • You are unable to save files
  • You can't share files with others
  • You can't share your screen with others 

Starting with macOS 10.14 Mojave, security and privacy have been increased. Whenever a new app is added to your Mac, it may ask for permission to use certain features. If these permissions are denied, the app may not function as intended.

This guide will show you how to rectify this. Here are the instructions to access your system preferences in order to fix the app permissions.

What You'll Need:
  • macOS 10.14 Mojave or later
  • An administrator account to change system preferences
Prompt from newly installed app asking for permission to use the camera on Mac.

If you inadvertently "don't allow" access to your computer's services or devices when you install certain apps, you can change the privacy preferences later on if you notice certain features to not work in these apps. Here's what to do:

  1. Open the Apple Menu and select System Preferences.
    Apple Menu with System Preferences highlighted.
  2. Go to Security & Privacy.
    Security & Privacy icon highlighted in System Preferences in macOS.
  3. In the Security & Privacy window go to the Privacy tab then click the Padlock at the bottom left.
    Privacy tab and Padlock icon highlighted in Security & Privacy in macOS.
  4. Enter the administrator User Name and Password then click Unlock.
    User Name and Password fields, and Unlock button highlighted on admin login prompt in macOS.
  5. In the left pane you'll find the services and devices you can grant or deny access to for the apps in the right pane.
    Left and right panes highlighted in Security & Privacy settings in macOS.
    • Location Services – Allows apps, services and websites to use your current location to provide information, services and features based on where you are.
    • Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, and Photos – Allows apps to access and manage these items.
    • Camera – Allows apps to show or record video with your camera and allows others to see you through it.
    • Microphone – Allows apps to listen to or record audio with your microphone and allows others to hear you when you speak into your microphone.
    • Speech Recognition – Allows apps to recognize human speech to perform certain tasks.
    • Accessibility – Allows apps to control your computer or someone else to control your computer remotely.
    • Input Monitoring – Allows apps to monitor your keyboard, mouse or trackpad.
    • Full Disk Access – Allows apps to access all your files on the computer.
    • Files and Folders – Allows apps to save files onto your computer and share files with others.
    • Screen Recording – Allows apps to record or show others what's on your screen.
    • Automation – Allows apps to control other apps and perform various tasks automatically.

    Some items are only available in macOS 10.15 Catalina or later. The items you need to change permissions to may be different for each app.

  6. Select the item in the left pane for which you wish to access to, then grant access to the apps you wish to allow to use that item. For example, if you denied access to Zoom to use your camera, select Camera on the left and then put a check mark next to Zoom in the right pane.
    Camera highlighted in the left pane and check marks next to Zoom highlighted in the right pane of Security & Privacy in macOS.
  7. You will be asked if you wish to restart the app. If you need to set more permissions, choose Later.
  8. Repeat the same process for each item you need to change permissions to.
  9. Once you've set all the necessary permissions, quit the app and restart it.
    How to quit and restart an app
    1. Click the application menu at top, then choose Quit at the bottom.
      Safari menu with quit safari highlighted
    2. Make sure the application leaves your Dock at the bottom or no longer has a dot underneath it.
      Running Application
      Dock icon with black dot indicating it is running
      Closed Application
      Dock icon without black dot indicating it is closed
      If the program doesn't quit properly
      1. Click on the Apple menu, then click Force Quit.
        Apple menu with Force quit highlighted
      2. Select the app you want to force close, then click Force Quit.
        Force quit dialog with application and force quit button highlighted
      3. Click Force Quit when prompted.
        force quit confirm dialog with force quit button highlighted
    3. To restart the program, click its icon on the Dock or from the Applications folder.