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How to view all app permissions on macOS

App permissions on macOS did not work like app permissions on iOS. This changed with Mojave, and Catalina. If you’ve updated to Catalina, you likely have started to see prompts asking you to give apps permission to access certain information on your Mac. If you want to view all app permissions that a certain app has requested, or will request when you run it for the first time, you can use a free app called Taccy.

Taccy is compatible with macOS Catalina.

View all app permissions

Download and run Taccy. On the menu bar, go to File>Open and select the app that you want to view permissions for.

Once you select an app, Taccy will read the information in the app’s PLIST file and display which permissions it needs access to. These will be listed in the pane at the bottom, along with why the app needs to access something on your Mac.

Check out the Usage Description section, and it should tell you what the app will do with the access that you grant it. In many cases you may have to Google some of what Taccy shows under User Description, or some of its other sections.

Taccy also shows you whether or not an app has access to your photos, location data, camera, mic, etc. It does so in the top half of the window for an app. It will also tell you whether the app is from Apple, if it came from the App Store, if it’s been properly signed by an identifiable developer, among other things. You can get the app ID as well as its version number.

Taccy is a simple, comprehensive way t0 view all the permissions an app needs. The app is likely going to make more sense to developers but even as end users, a little Googling will help you out quite a bit. This app by no means provides you a dashboard to change what permissions an app has. If you want to revoke any special access that you’ve given to an app, you’re going to have to go through System Preferences.

You should know that not all permissions can be revoked e.g., many apps may have access to photos on your Mac. There is no way for you to revoke this permission since you likely never explicitly granted it. If you know an app is accessing your photos, and you don’t want it to, your only choice is to uninstall it.

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