Software installed without requiring administrator password !?!

Jalopy

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 2, 2011
36
0
I've been using my Mac for years and have downloaded several free software installers during this time from sites such as Softonic, CNET. I'm very selective as to what I choose to download but still I'm glad that Mac OS requests my administrator password before installing these files for security reasons. However yesterday I downloaded a dmg file and when I opened it the software installed without me having to enter my administrator password. Why didn't I have to enter my password?
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,872
368
Inside
It's likely it didn't ask for one because it didn't need to install or change anything outside of your user folder.
 

Jalopy

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 2, 2011
36
0
The software installed on to my desktop and I moved it to my Macintosh HD/Applications folder. Is this still inside my user folder?
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,872
368
Inside
It may have things like preferences and support files within your home directory. Most, if not all, applications do.
 

Jalopy

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 2, 2011
36
0
So it is possible to install certain software without having to enter the administrator password? I always thought Mac OS required this as a safeguard.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,697
1,186
New Zealand
An administrator password is only needed to modify "system" files. If the application can run completely in "user space" then no password is needed.
 

Jalopy

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 2, 2011
36
0
Thanks. Would this mean that software that does not require my administrator password is "safe" and unlikely to modify system files?
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,872
368
Inside
Correct. Such software is generally safe and any damage it could do would be limited to your user account and your home folder contents.