System Permissions

Accessibility Features

Due to stronger security and privacy controls, you'll be prompted to grant Caffeine access to use Accessibility features to control your Mac.

If you're having trouble getting your Mac to stay awake on Mojave, please go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Accessibility and look for Caffeine in the list of applications. Ensure that the checkbox beside it is checked.

Should Caffeine not appear in the list, click the + button at the bottom and add it to the list, then check the box to grant permissions.

If you've granted permission, but Caffeine is not working as expected (e.g. your Mac still goes to sleep, even with Caffeine active), removing and re-adding Caffeine to the permission list typically helps.

Caffeine is in the list, but keeps prompting for permission

While the permission system provided by macOS is robust and easy to use, it is also very complicated under the hood. In some cases, if you have more than one copy of Caffeine on your system (such as in your Downloads folder or in the Trash), macOS may internally reference that copy, rather than the one you are currently using.

This is especially true for users who have been using Caffeine for a long time, and may have previously used an older version of Caffeine on their Mojave or Catalina systems, as even after installing the latest version, in some cases macOS can become confused and internally is still looking for the older version.

Through extensive testing, much trial and error, and many reboots we have found that following the steps below should help to clear up these situations:

  1. Ensure that Caffeine is not running, by right clicking on the coffee cup in the menu bar, and choosing Quit from the menu that appears.

  2. Remove the Accessibility permission from Caffeine:
    • Open the System Preferences
    • Click on the Security & Privacy icon
    • Click on the Privacy tab
    • Choose Accessibility from the list on the left hand side
    • Highlight Caffeine in the list, and click the - button to remove it

  3. Delete all copies of Caffeine from the system.

  4. Important

    Be sure to remove any other versions that may exist, such as in your Downloads folder, and empty the Trash when finished. If you just installed Caffeine, also ensure that you have ejected the disk image by clicking the eject icon to the right of Caffeine in the Devices section of the Finder sidebar.

  5. Once you are certain that all copies of Caffeine have been removed, reboot the system.

  6. After rebooting, download and install the latest version of Caffeine.

  7. Launch Caffeine from the Applications folder, and follow the instructions in the prompt to grant permission.

  8. Once you have given permission, close System Preferences and return to Caffeine. The permission dialog should immediately disappear.

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