Software installed without requiring administrator password !?!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Jalopy, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. Jalopy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    #1
    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?
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #2
    It's likely it didn't ask for one because it didn't need to install or change anything outside of your user folder.
     
  3. Jalopy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    #3
    The software installed on to my desktop and I moved it to my Macintosh HD/Applications folder. Is this still inside my user folder?
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    Jan 24, 2010
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    #4
    It may have things like preferences and support files within your home directory. Most, if not all, applications do.
     
  5. Jalopy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    #5
    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.
     
  6. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #6
    An administrator password is only needed to modify "system" files. If the application can run completely in "user space" then no password is needed.
     
  7. Jalopy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    #7
    Thanks. Would this mean that software that does not require my administrator password is "safe" and unlikely to modify system files?
     
  8. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #8
    Correct. Such software is generally safe and any damage it could do would be limited to your user account and your home folder contents.
     

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