Prevent macOS's Security and Privacy Settings Blocking Installation of Dropbox SmartSync

January 30, 2019

SmartSync is a premium feature offered as part of Dropbox's Professional and Business tiers. It allows a user to decide from within macOS's native Finder application which of their files will sync to their hard disk and which will remain in the cloud. This guide explains how you can overcome a standard -- and frustrating -- installation error on macOS.

Security and Privacy Settings Blocks Installation of SmartSync

This error seems only to affect users who:

  • are controlling their Mac remotely using VNC or other remote-access software, OR
  • have a non-standard control surface installed on their Mac, such as an ethernet-linked mixing desk or special mouse

In most cases, the problem arises after you accept Dropbox’s invitation to set up SmartSync, and are taken to the Security and Privacy tab within System Preferences and invited to grant Dropbox permission to install the appropriate kernel extensions. At this point, you will typically be unable to click the Allow button successfully. Or, rather, you’ll be able to click it as many times as you like, but it will not change anything or let you move to the next installation stage.

To fix this problem, you will need to:

  1. Boot your Mac into Recovery Mode by restarting it while holding down  and R simultaneously on your keyboard
  2. Open a terminal window from the Utilities section of the Recovery Mode menu bar

Once inside Terminal, you need to run:

      spctl kext-consent add G7HH3F8CAK

Then reboot into macOS proper. You should now be able to enable SmartSync.


macOS: 10.14.3
Dropbox: 66.3.81
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Dropbox Mac macOS

3 responses to “Prevent macOS's Security and Privacy Settings Blocking Installation of Dropbox SmartSync

  1. Hi there, sorry not sure what i am doing bad on my end but cant find the link to the explanations .. or the content .. thanks!

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