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How to Implement Assistive Access in macOS

macOS Universal Access System Preferences Icon

I recently purchased a new Mac. I used Migration Assistant to move over apps, preferences, etc. to it. However, whenever I tried to launch an AppleScript, it said I couldn’t because the utility didn’t have permission for assistive access on my Mac.

You may run across this occasionally. Sometimes you want to control apps by manipulating their user interfaces with specific AppleScript scripts that mimic an active user via the system’s accessibility frameworks. Make sure you trust any app or tool that asks you to do this. If you do have that trust, here’s how:

macOS Security & Privacy  > Assistive Access window
  1. Click System Preferences.
  2. Click Security & Privacy.
  3. Click Privacy.
  4. Click Accessibility.
  5. Click the lock icon at the bottom left of the window. You will be asked for your administrator password.
  6. Select the checkbox next to the app in question (in my case, it was Script Editor). 
  7. Close System Preferences.
Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Contributing Author
Dennis has over 40 years of journalism experience and has written hundreds of articles. For the past 20-plus years, he's been an online journalist, covering mainly Apple Inc. He's written for MacCentral, MacWorld, MacMinute, Macsimum News, Apple Daily Report, and is now contributing editor at Apple World Today.
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