Enable Access For Assistive Devices Mac

I want to enable access for assistive devices programmatically. Have another way to do this that not use NSURL.prefPaneURL = NSURL fileURLWithPath:paths objectAtIndex:0. Under the System options click the 'Universal Access' icon and it will open a new window. Check 'Enable access for assistive devices' At the bottom of the Universal Access window you will see a check box labled Enable Access for Assistive Devices. Text Expander, Cheat Sheet and a many other Mac apps require access to OS X's How to Enable Access for Assistive Devices in OS X Mavericks on Vimeo Join. The feature called 'Enable access for assistive devices' is found in the Universal Access preference pane. It needs to be enabled in order for any GUI AppleScripts to run. I was trying to enable it from the Terminal, to insure that it was always enabled when needed. I struggled with this for a long time, and then finally found a simple solution.

Check tutorial of How to Enable & Control Access for Assistive Devices & Apps in Mac OS

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Tools and supporting apps are applications and accessories that can control parts of the Mac and MacOS outside the normal range of app limits. Although it is primarily considered accessibility feature, it is also commonly used for general purpose apps, ranging from screen sharing features, to apps that require microphone access, to even web browsers and many popular games. Due to its widespread usage, many users may require auxiliary devices and apps, but what was once called “Auxiliary Devices” and controlled in the Universal Access / Accessibility Control Panel has since moved to a new common location in macOS.

Let’s see how to enable it in the latest version of Mac OS X, and also how to control and change which apps can use the assisting device features.

How to Enable assistive devices and assistive app support in Mac OS

  1. Open System Preferences from the  Apple menu and go to the “Security & Privacy” panel
  2. Choose the tab “Privacy”
  3. Select “Accessibility” from the menu options on the left
  4. Click on the lock icon in the lower left corner and enter an administrator password to access the apps with supporting rights

(Note that older versions of Mac OS X can find this setting in System Preferences> Universal Access> by checking “Enable access for assistive devices”)

The list displayed shows exactly which apps can control the Mac using the supporting devices feature set. As mentioned above, this can access it camera, microphone, screen, keyboard, or other similar features of a Mac. If you see something in this list that you don’t want, or if you don’t see an app that you do want assistive access to, you can easily control both, which we’ll cover next.

How to Control which apps have assistive access in Mac OS X

Most applications that want to access the Tools panel will ask for permission on first start. This comes in the form of a doll-up dialog box with the message “AppName wants to control this computer with accessibility features. with an option to “deny” the request. Please note that if you decline the app, you can add it again later or change the setting simply by going to the Privacy Control Panel.

Let’s focus on determining which apps do or don’t have accessibility support features on the Mac using the Privacy> Accessibility control panel. This is easy to do:

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  • Add a new app to Tools control by dragging the application to the window, usually from the Finder / Applications folder
  • Revoke access to auxiliary devices for each application in the list by unchecking the box next to the respective application name

You may find some apps in the accessibility list that you weren’t expecting to see here, and if you see anything odd, consider it features of the app that may require more control over the Mac to function. For example, many popular games require access to the Tools capabilities so that an online game can properly use voice chat or screen broadcasts. This is true of almost all Steam games, ranging from Team Fortress 2 to Civilization V, and Blizzard / Battle Net games such as StarCraft 2 and World of Warcraft. Note that these games will continue to function without Assistive Access, but their feature set for online communication and sharing can be limited, and so if you are playing games and looking for the voice chat features don’t work, this setting or app-specific access could very well be the reason why. The same usually applies to other apps as well, and similar fine-tuned controls are now also available for iOS devices for apps that attempt to access everything from location data to the microphone and camera.

If you are wondering why this feature is now in the “Privacy” control panel, it’s probably a more appropriate place given the increased capabilities that such apps and devices can access on a Mac. In addition, because the feature has wider uses than general universal access functionalities, it makes sense to extend controls to more general privacy preferences.

This change first appeared in Mac OS X Mavericks and persists today in macOS Mojave, Catalina, Yosemite, El Capitan, High Sierra, Sierra, and presumably beyond.

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Enable Access For Assistive Devices Mac

Enable and disable Assistive Devices via Terminal 8 comments Create New Account
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Enable and disable Assistive Devices via Terminal
Excellent. I was looking at this problem, and I'm glad you got it sussed. I do however remove the part that says: [b]password pwd [/b] as I'm sure the script will prompt you for an admin password. I'm looking at this from a security point of view. Regards, JayEnable Access For Assistive Devices Mac

Enable Access For Assistive Devices Mac

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-J-

Enable and disable Assistive Devices via Terminal
If you just want to just applescript turning on and off GUI scripting, then you can do something like this:
tell application 'System Events'
set UI elements enabled to true
end tell
The user will get prompted to enter their credentials. No need to use the do shell script.
On my 10.4.6 system, this file actually appears to contain a single character - in my case, the letter 'a'.

So, to be safe, it appears it would be better to: ..instead.

Argh - submitted too soon..

Almost correct: The file should NOT contain the trailing newline. So, that means it should be: (with the extra '-n' switch passed to echo)

Enable access for assistive devices mac os mojave

Sorry about that..

I figured out it would even be better to change that into:
sudo echo -n 'a' > /private/var/db/.AccessibilityAPIEnabled
sudo chmod 444 /private/var/db/.AccessibilityAPIEnabled
Not using the -n would leave an 'a' followed by a 'newline' inside the file instead of just the 'a'

Enable and disable Assistive Devices via Terminal

It is useful to point out that System Preferences should not be open during this procedure. I discovered this while debugging a script that used the aforementioned code while I had the Accessibility prefpane open.

Enable and disable Assistive Devices via Terminal

In Snow leopard I find that this does not work. It creates the hidden file, places the 'a' within, and in system preferences the 'enable access for..' is checked, but my applescripts still say 'access for assistive devices is disabled'. Only once I manually check the checkbox do the scripts work. This leads me to believe that something else, other than the .AccessibilityAPIEnabled file is happening under Snow Leopard.
My whole goal is to have a window/app management script that launches and places all of my startup apps/windows for dual monitors. I despise the automated mouse movement that comes with 'access for assistive devices' but I need this to move and resize the windows so in a single applescript i want to:
1. turn the access on
2. move and place the windows
3. turn the access off

Mac Os X Enable Access For Assistive Devices

Enable and disable Assistive Devices via Terminal
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