Stopping the “Are you sure you want to open it?” dialog

If you’re an OS X Leopard user then you’ve no doubt encountered a dialog similar to this one from time to time:

This means that the file is “quarantined”; it happens whenever you first try to open a file you downloaded via your Web browser.

Generally speaking, this is a good thing, as it makes you think twice about opening something that may potentially be malware. However, if you’re downloading a lot of files that you know to be kosher then it can get quite annoying.

Fortunately, there are ways to disable the quarantine dialog, so that downloaded files open without needing confirmation. I found a good solution over at The Pug Automatic blog – this is basically a short AppleScript that you attach to your Downloads folder as a folder action. Then, whenever a new file is added to the Downloads folder, it’s automatically un-quarantined. Neat.

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10 Responses to “Stopping the “Are you sure you want to open it?” dialog”

  1. Name (required) Says:

    I suppose the next thing you’ll recommend is replacing a household fuse with a penny. In either case “No Thanks!”.

  2. John Says:

    I suppose for special cases this is useful, but for the vast majority of us the normal operation is the best one.

  3. Goobi Says:

    It isn’t a hindrance really, and might help in the future. For an advanced user, turning it off is fine. But otherwise its not as annoying like, lets say, the UAC?

  4. MattF Says:

    Nearly all the software I use is downloaded, so I get the dialog for any new version or bug fix– Maybe a better solution is to make ‘white list’ of sites that are safe for downloaded applications. If you’re downloading software from some site for the first time, then a warning is entirely appropriate.

  5. Matt Says:

    Yeah, generally it’s a good security feature, but if you’re downloading a lot of files and you know what you’re doing then it’s a pain…

  6. Brandon Klapholz Says:

    This is perhaps the single worst and by far the most annoying feature added to Leopard that isn’t in Tiger.

    -Give me 1 example of an unsafe file that damaged your system?
    -They could have a least given a user the option to easily disable that warning.
    - How many times do you just download random files anyways? And how many times do you download something for the sake of never opening it? The warning is useless – and I’d expect Apple to implement something more intelligent that only warns if a file is suspect – but still leave the option to disable.

  7. Zach Says:

    I find this feature very inconvenient, as it forces me to ok every php, html, jhtml file that I edit, and I download and edit tens, sometimes hundreds of files daily, clicking ok button for each downloaded file in an annoyance, it needs to be an option, at least an option where I am allowed to turn this off based on file extension, or default application, as all of these files I set to open in textwrangler.

  8. Gavin Says:

    Christ, this isn’t an option somewhere?

    Sigh.

  9. Phoenix Says:

    Try removing /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/VerifiedDownloadPlugin.plugin (preferably moving it to another directory rather than deleting it outright).

  10. Matt Says:

    @Phoenix: That sounds promising – thanks for the tip! (Although it might be a security risk apparently: http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=2009081808315511)