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Modify OS X's Accessibility Database from the Command Line

Apple has a utility in /usr/bin named tccutil, but it only supports one command, which is to reset the entire database. I wanted a command-line utility that would be able to add, remove, list, and take other actions.

macOS Sierra Support

Due to SIP, this utility will no longer work to modify the database (see #18)

How is Different?

  • can be installed without any additional software.

  • It can then be run just like any other command line tool. I also wanted the syntax to be easy to remember without having to look it up in the help menu.

  • There are other solutions out there, but there were some things I did not like about them:


  • Install using Homebrew, then run with tccutil:
      brew install tccutil

Depending how you have your $PATH variable setup, you can simply type tccutil (instead of the full path) and it will run this utility instead of Apple's.

  • Download from here and

    • copy manually to /usr/local/bin, then run with, or

    • run from any directory with python /path/to/


This utility needs super-user priveleges for most operations. It is important that you either run this as root or use sudo, otherwise it won't work and you will end up with “permission denied” errors.

usage: [-h] [--list] [--insert INSERT] [-v] [-r REMOVE] [-e ENABLE]
                  [-d DISABLE] [--version]

Modify Accessibility Preferences

positional arguments:
  ACTION                Reset using Apple's /usr/bin/tccutil

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --list, -l            List all entries in the accessibility database.
  --insert INSERT, -i INSERT
                        Adds the given bundle ID or path to the accessibility
  -v, --verbose         Outputs additional info for some commands.
  -r REMOVE, --remove REMOVE
                        Removes the given Bundle ID or Path from the
                        Accessibility Database.
  -e ENABLE, --enable ENABLE
                        Enables Accessibility Access for the given Bundle ID
                        or Path.
  -d DISABLE, --disable DISABLE
                        Disables Accessibility Access for the given Bundle ID
                        or Path.
  --version             Show the version of this script


List existing Entries in the Accessibility Database

sudo --list

Add /usr/bin/osascript to the Accessibility Database (using UNIX-Style Option)

sudo -i /usr/bin/osascript

Add Script Editor to the Accessibility Database (using Long Option)

sudo --insert

Remove Terminal from the Accessibility Database

sudo --remove

Enable Terminal (must already exist in the Database)

sudo --enable

Disable /usr/bin/osascript (must already exist in the Database)

sudo -d /usr/bin/osascript

Current Feature Set

  • List existing Entries in Accessibility Database
  • Insert new Item into Accessibility Database (even Command-Line Utilities)
  • Remove an existing Item from the Accessibility Database
  • Enable or disable an Entry

Planned Features

  • Modify other parts of the TCC.db.
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