Fix an “Unapproved Caller” SecurityAgent Message in Mac OS X
Rarely, Mac users may encounter a random error message which appears somewhat disconcerting, with an OS X pop-up message saying “Unapproved caller. SecurityAgent may only be invoked by Apple software.”
This message can appear at random when using certain apps, or after logging in or a reboot, and is sometimes followed by crashing and other bad behavior. Because the message is vague and mentions SecurityAgent and an ‘unapproved caller’ many users perceive this to be some sort of eavesdropping or attack event, but the good news is that is not the case, and you can fix the error message quite quickly and you will likely never see it again.
Fixing the “Unapproved Caller” SecurityAgent Error in OS X
The simplest way to get rid of this error message is to boot into Safe Mode, then reboot as normal. Amongst other things, this flushes out many system level caches, which will resolve the Unapproved Caller message.
- Reboot the Mac and immediately hold down the SHIFT key, continue holding shift until the loading bar appears
- Let the Mac boot into Safe Mode, which will automatically dump caches
- When completed, go to the Apple menu and choose “Restart” to reboot the Mac as normal
Let the Mac boot as normal, and you should never see the Unapproved Caller message appear again.
Why does this message appear in the first place? That’s less clear, but it appears to show up most commonly from Macs that have been upgraded from prior releases of OS X and have older third party software laying around that has to go through GateKeeper, or after installing a new app that has modified permissions, or when a user elevates access in some way. Fortunately, a safe boot is very easy to perform. And no, even though the message sounds somewhat similar, this has nothing to do with blocking callers from reaching you.
Another option is to manually trash the contents of /var/folders/ subfolders, but that is best reserved for advanced users who have made a backup of their Mac. Never modify or delete system files unless you have a backup and know what you’re doing.
Did this work for you to fix the Unapproved Caller error? Let us know in the comments if so, or what you did to resolve it.