xattred’s first beta release: edit any extended attribute

My full-featured extended attribute editor, xattred, is now available in its first beta-release.

Features now supported include:

  • Browse any xattr from any file or folder on your Mac in the most appropriate format (text, property list, hex data).
  • Generate and attach ‘quarantine flag’ xattrs to force apps to undergo full Gatekeeper checks.
  • Cut, copy, paste any xattr between different files and folders.
  • Create and attach new xattrs of any type to any file or folder to which you have write access.
  • Edit the content of any xattr of any type to which you have write access. Editing formats supported include plain text (UTF-8), Apple standard XML property list, and hexadecimal strings.
  • Export any xattr in text format.
  • Runs on Sierra and High Sierra, with HFS+ and APFS file systems.
  • Eight pages of documentation in PDF format.
  • Free, and free of advertisements or other annoying encumbrances.

There are two limitations of which you should be aware:

  • There is no Undo for cut/copy/paste at present.
  • Cut/copy/paste work through buttons, not the standard menu commands.


Many xattrs are stored as binary property lists. xattred displays those in both hex format and as XML property lists. When opened in its editor, they are displayed and edited in standard XML format. The editor attempts to parse them before saving: if the XML does not parse to a valid property list, no attempt is made to save it; you can then either correct the XML and save again, or cancel the edit.

This new version is available here: xattred10b1
and in Downloads above.

Please report any bugs or other issues as comments here, or by email to me, so that I can address them in the next release.