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How to give apps accessibility access on macOS

Accessibility access allows apps to perform certain tasks on macOS that normal apps are restricted from. This allows many apps to overcome certain restrictions of the OS though before such an app can be run, a user must grant the app accessibility access. The apps that need this access often have a built-in trigger for taking you to the correct preference where you can enable accessibility access. For those that don’t, here’s how you can grant them accessibility access.

Accessibility access for apps

Open System Preferences and go to System & Privacy. Select the Privacy tab, and in the column on the left, select Accessibility.

The pane on the right will show you apps that have and need accessibility access. Apps that are checked already have access. You will also see a padlock icon at the bottom left of this preference. Click it, and enter the admin password when prompted to. Once you do, you will be able to edit this preference.

Click the checkbox next to an app that is listed to give it accessibility access, or uncheck the box to revoke access.

The apps that are listed are those that have explicitly asked for accessibility access however, you can give any app on your system accessibility access even if it isn’t listed here. To do that, click the plus button at the bottom of the pane. Select the app that you want to grant accessibility access to.

You can uncheck an app any time to revoke its access or you can select it and click the minus button to remove it from the list completely. If you uninstall an app and install it again later, you will need to grant it accessibility access again.

You should practice some caution when granting an app accessibility access. It’s best to only allow apps from the Mac App Store this level of access however, open-source apps should be okay as well. For third-party apps that are not in the Mac App store, and there are quite a few of them, make sure the app is signed.

It’s always a good idea to review the list of apps that have accessibility access from time to time. If you have an app that you do not use anymore but it still has accessibility access, it might be a good idea to remove it from your Mac. If you think you might need to use the app at some point in the future but are not going to be using it daily, or even monthly, revoking accessibility access for the app might be a good idea.


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