Password prompt before app install?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Jedi5, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. Jedi5 macrumors 6502


    Aug 16, 2009
    North Burbs, IL
    I can't figure this out so I hope someone can help me out.

    On my MBP, I get prompted for a PW before any program gets installed.
    On my iMac, at times I get prompted, other times I don't.
    I just downloaded handbrake and installed but there was no PW prompt.
    The day before I installed a plug in for Quicktime and was prompted for a PW.

    How can I get so that I get prompted for a PW every time before anything gets installed?
  2. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Depending on the access the program needs will determine if you need a password. If it is accessing root then it will require it.
  3. gtr053 macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL
  4. rprebel macrumors 6502


    Aug 22, 2010
    Where the bluebonnets bloom
    If the installer is installing files in a restricted folder, then it will prompt for a password. If it's just putting an app in your Apps folder then it probably won't ask for a password unless the developer wanted it to.

  5. Jedi5 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 16, 2009
    North Burbs, IL
    So if I understand then, there is no way to do this...

    Alright then..

    Thanks again!
  6. munkery, Dec 13, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010

    munkery macrumors 68020


    Dec 18, 2006
    It sounds like you are using a standard account on your MBP and an admin account on your iMac.

    An admin account does not ask for your password if the app does not modify restricted areas of the root directory (/Library) of the system. So, apps that require a password are apps that modify restricted areas of the root directory.

    In a standard account, /Library becomes more restricted and you are asked for a password (admin password) to install apps that modify anywhere in that directory. You also will be asked for an admin password if you want to install an app for all users (/Applications). Apps installed in ~/Applications (not created by default) are accessible by other users until the owner of that folder explicitly denies access. (EDIT: It is very rare, but sometimes you will find apps that have no config files that can only be installed for the current user such that they do not require any password to install and can not be installed for all users unless installed by each individual user)

    In an admin account, those additional areas of /Library (root directory) that are restricted in a standard account can be modified without any password entry. This is why using a standard account provides a little more protection from malware but truly malicious malware requires modifying restricted areas of /Library (root directory) or /System/Library.

    Security sensitive hidden folders (/usr, /bin, /sbin, & etc) require an admin password to modify in both admin and standard accounts.

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