TinkerTool System 8

Known Issues

Downloading installer apps and creating installation media may not work when running macOS 13.6.2 or using an M3 processor: If you like to use TinkerTool System to download a macOS installer app from Apple or to create installation media, this might not work if your Mac is currently running macOS Ventura 13.6.2 or it is equipped with an M3 processor. The list of installer apps to download is shown to be empty. Creating installation media fails with error 250.

Workaround: This is the correct behavior intended by Apple. macOS 13.6.2 and variants of macOS specifically designed for M3 processors are not compatible with other standard Macs. For the particular model series that are running these special operating systems at the moment, features to create general install media are temporarily blocked by Apple. This may change in the future again when Apple will return to let the affected Macintosh models run general versions of macOS.

Release Notes

Apple’s approval feature for integrating security components is very immature: With macOS 13 Ventura, Apple introduced a new procedure that requires administrators to use System Settings to control whether to allow an application to install login items on the system or to let a program launch a privilege separation utility at the same time when the main application starts. These functions are immature and are affected by numerous technical defects. This can have influence on TinkerTool System 8, since for security reasons, it always uses the most modern form of privilege separation that a macOS version dictates. Among other things, there are the following issues:

(A) Apple incorrectly suggests that TinkerTool System would add an always-running background service: In the System Settings application, Apple states that Login Item permissions are required for background items that apps add “to perform tasks when the application isn’t open.” This description is incorrect or incomplete. Permission is also required for programs like TinkerTool System 8 that increase security through privilege separation by running a helper program only when the main program is open.

Workaround: We have notified Apple of this bug and hope it will be fixed in future versions of macOS.

(B) Network administrators cannot grant the necessary permission at the start of the program, but only via System Settings: When starting TinkerTool System 8 for the first time, macOS shows a notification that allows administrators to permit TinkerTool System 8 to run a privilege separation utility. This must be confirmed with an administrator’s password. However, password entry only works for locally set up administrator accounts, not for network administrator accounts.

Workaround: We have notified Apple of this bug and hope it will be fixed in future versions of macOS. As a workaround, grant permission via System Settings > Login Items > Allow in the Background and not via the notification.

(C) If you store multiple copies of TinkerTool System on your computer in an unusual way, macOS service management may be overwhelmed: Current versions of macOS are not designed to handle situations where multiple copies of TinkerTool System can be found on your computer. (Copies in Time Machine backups do not count.)

Workaround: Only store one copy of TinkerTool System on your computer.

(D) Handling of Background Items does not work in macOS 13.1: If you are using macOS 13.1, many features of the user interface to approve Background Items just don’t work at all.

Workaround: Apple has confirmed this to be a known defect of macOS 13.1. We recommend to use at least macOS 13.3.1 or later.

The privacy feature of macOS that grants TinkerTool System access to the full disk may fail if you have multiple copies of TinkerTool System on your computer: As noted in the chapter Basic Operations: Privacy Policy Settings of your Mac, you have to approve that TinkerTool System has permission for Full Disk Access before you can use all features of the application. When you store multiple copies of TinkerTool System on your Mac however, this approval may fail unexpectedly. TinkerTool System may indicate that it does not have the necessary approval although it was given previously.

Workaround: This is a known design flaw of the Privacy feature of macOS. The protection feature can be confused when working with multiple copies of the same application. Use the following steps to ensure that macOS grants permission to the intended copy of the software:

  1. Identify all copies of TinkerTool System of your computer, e.g. by using Spotlight.
  2. Delete all superfluous copies, keeping the correct one.
  3. In System Settings, go to Privacy & Security > Full Disk Access, authorize as administrator, and remove the entry for TinkerTool System if available.
  4. Re-add the entry for TinkerTool System.

Note that you can always keep backup copies of TinkerTool System on your Time Machine disks. This may not work when using third-party backup applications, however.

The size values for APFS snapshots on inactive operating system volumes can be wrong: Current versions of macOS are unable to determine the private size of APFS snapshots correctly if the snapshots belong to a volume of another macOS installation on your computer. In this case, you may receive a private size of zero and a tide mark at the 4.61 exabyte position.

Workaround: There is no known workaround. Apple’s Disk Utility is also affected by this issue.

If you specify a time interval while querying the system log, specific versions of macOS may return incorrect data in case the time interval is a few seconds around the startup time of a Mac with Apple Silicon: If you use the feature Info > Logs to get an excerpt from the system log and you specify a time interval targeting the first boot phase of an Apple Silicon processor exactly, macOS will often return an incomplete or empty log as result.

Workaround: This is a defect in current versions of macOS. It is currently unknown when and if Apple will fix this issue. As a workaround, you can try to shift the time interval by a small amount, e.g. by 10 seconds after the startup time. In most cases, macOS will then provide the correct excerpt from the logs. Macs with Intel processors are generally not affected by this problem.