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The Ultimate Guide for switching from a PC to a Mac
(Part 2 - coming soon)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Disabling the downloaded applications warning in 10.5!

Mac OS X Leopard brought a new warning when you attempt to load a downloaded application. I think it is somewhat ironic of Apple to blame Vista of having "Cancel or Allow" and then to introduce this feature in Leopard. I guess it can be useful for users who don't know a lot about internet security. As a power user, I think it is just way too annoying. The way I see it is that there are currently no viruses for Macs and I am careful with from where I download files. I think Apple should at least include the possibility of disabling it even if it is enabled by default. Here is how you can make it happen (if you want, it is a "use at your own risk") (thanks to http://henrik.nyh.se/ for the script and the tip):


1. Download the "Unquarantine script" from http://henrik.nyh.se/2007/10/lift-the-leopard-download-quarantine (Direct link for the download here).
2. Copy the script to /Library/Scripts/Folder Action Scripts/.
3. Go to your account and right-click on the Downloads folder.
4. Go to "More".
5. Select Enable Folder Actions.
6. Select Attach a Folder Action...
7. Navigate through the Finder and select the downloaded script "Unquarantine".
8. That's it! You should no longer get the warning from anything downloaded to the Downloads folder. Of course, if you want this to apply to any other folder, you can do it by applying the folder action in the same way.

13 Comments:

Blogger Joe said...

cool, haven't tried it yet, but that got really annoying...

February 26, 2008 at 9:13 PM  
Blogger rob said...

great thanks!!!

February 26, 2008 at 9:46 PM  
Blogger Dominic P. Tremblay said...

finally!!!! this is great... I couldn't stand those "windows-like" warnings! This is the best tip of the month.

February 26, 2008 at 11:24 PM  
Blogger arwee said...

this is funny.. coz i'm a switcher and when i downloaded programs, it came naturally to me to have that pop up warnings..
but i was like.. "duhz.. you mean Mac has this as well?"

now i know it's not native of Mac to incorporate the warnings in the past. :)
but still.. is there a possibility that there might be virus for Mac?

February 27, 2008 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger T said...

thanks for the tip! it's been the only one i've used in a while; very useful!

February 27, 2008 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Very Awesome, thanks!

February 27, 2008 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Do not disable those warnings! This has nothing to do with a misguided perception about being a power user.

The warnings are in place to ensure that programs you have NOT manually downloaded can be executed without a warning. IE are very prone and both Firefox and Safari has previously had exploits that allows silent downloads.

Even without exploits, you may run into problems by trojans. Suppose you download some cool power user tool. During installation you know you downloaded the tool and happily give it an admin password to install. The installer contains malicious code that overwrites, say, Mail.app. After you forget all about the downloaded and deleted tool, Mail.app is still contaminated. Without this warning, you never notice and are now a happy spam-bot.

Yes, the warnings may be a bit annoying, but they only show up once for each application, and they protect against such attacks. In a sense they are a last defense if a user does something dumb or an application fails.

You may also notice that the warnings are in place instead of the warnings previously issued by Safari about downloads containing applications. Now the protection is part of the OS rather than part of Safari. This is a good thing.

February 27, 2008 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger richard said...

Michael, a warning doesn't prevent at all from installing a trojan. The only way not to install a trojan is not installing the new software at all. If you are unaware of the trojan, it doesn't matter having the warning or not.

February 27, 2008 at 3:20 PM  
Blogger K said...

Love your tips and while I can't use all of them, some of them truly make my life easier! Keep it up!

On a different note, you may want to remove the "Switching from a PC to a Mac Part 2 Coming Soon!" from the top of your tips. I switched last July and after 7 mos of waiting, now assume that you are simply too busy. Just take it down until you complete it. Thanks again for all that you do!

February 27, 2008 at 3:52 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

richard, my point almost exactly. The point is not to prevent the installation of the trojan. The trojan is bad enough, but the point is that it may contaminate real applications. The warning when launching Mail.app should give you an idea that something fishy is going on.

February 27, 2008 at 4:11 PM  
Blogger Anton R. said...

I think that Michael over estimates when MAC OSX gives us a warning. This script only disables warnings from files downloaded to the Downloads folder. If a trojan modifies Mail.app which resides in the Applications folder than the script does nothing. On the other hand I don't think that without the script that we will get a warning from MacOS about Mail.app having been modified.

February 27, 2008 at 8:26 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

Michael,

The warning Safari gives you is smart; it can tell you if it is an application pretending to be a picture or document. The warning that the Finder gives you is dumb because it gives you the same warning for every file that has been downloaded. It can't tell if it may hurt your computer, it only tells you that because you got it from the internet it may harm your computer.

It is completely useless.

February 28, 2008 at 4:13 AM  
Blogger Rael said...

I am delighted that there is a way to get rid of this idiotic and useless feature but it doesn't seem to work for me. Running 10.5.2 - the script is attached, folder actions enabled and configuration checked, but I still get the warnings! :(

February 29, 2008 at 8:08 AM  

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