Tools updated to fix security errors when opening documents

A few months ago I realised why trying to open documents in macOS 10.8 and later could sometimes result in a bizarre security error and refusal.


This results from the promiscuous writing of quarantine flags to documents opened by sandboxed apps. If you then set that document to be opened by the non-default app for that type of document, and try opening the document in the Finder, perhaps by double-clicking it, everything goes awry. Sandboxed apps shouldn’t be putting perfectly good documents in quarantine like this, but they continue to do so.

At the time, I produced a summary diagram explaining how this happens, and what you can do about it.


Although there are ways of working around this using the Finder’s contextual menu, or the Security & Privacy pane, with the proliferation of documents with quarantine flags set, this can become tedious. I therefore produced two apps which can help you tackle it by changing or removing the quarantine flags:

  • Sandstrip, which works through selected folders removing quarantine flags altogether from documents.
  • Pratique, which works through selected folders and clears all quarantine flags set on documents, so they behave normally again.

I’m delighted to release versions 1.1 of both apps. These now check their own code integrity when they’re run, can change the size of their text between 4 and 24 points, and are fully compatible with the current beta release of Catalina (although you’ll probably need to add them to the Full Disk Access list in the Privacy settings).

Because these two apps are unlikely to be updated particularly frequently, I haven’t built in support for automatic checking for updates, though, to keep them simple.

Pratique version 1.1 is now available from here: pratique11
Sandstrip version 1.1 is now available from here: sandstrip11
and both are available from Downloads above, and from their Product Page.