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10.5: Disable the 'downloaded from internet' file warning
Authored by: ehunt123 on Oct 13, '09 08:58:16AM

Since this issue obviously never went away, and—for reasons that I never understand, there always seems to be a large amount of misunderstanding on how/why/what to fix it.

From digging in to this a bit to understand it better, only to see hundreds of recycled "solutions" coming from this site, I'll dump what I know:

when any file is downloaded, no matter the location or browser, a special flag that exists only on HFS+ filesystems is set called a quarantine (xattr +x)

So, use Safari/Camino/FF to grab a file, even if it comes inside a DMG, running a gui program will leave this.

Over the years, people have posted launched solutions and tons of AppleScript items to insert via a Folder Action, and that is the easiest way to remove the flag automatically. Since AppleScript has a full scope to Cocoa and the MetaData on files without any ScriptingAdditions, its simple quick and easy. Adding stuff like a growl notification and whatever else is not much harder.

Using launchd, if you have no problem setting it up, is also another "simple and easy" method, that would also probably have a better chance of being logged, since I have had problems with finder actions, even when not calling external scripts and programs, where the launchd method had similar errors or didn't produce the output to try and debug.I am sure all components below this have been improved since then but launchd has become much more flexible.

Modifying the or whatever was never an option I was fond of, even though I normally enjoy learning/using hacks, since apple could have easily implemented an undocumented way to stop this, and still never did after hundreds of people complained/submitted rdar reports. The quarantine is a good idea/concept, and, to me, if they really did not want you accessing this flag, it would have been excluded from AppleScript a long time ago. To me, if it can be done in AppleScript, it was meant to be mass scripted/used. One of the many talented developers who you can find via Google , even post on here, would have coded an InputMethod/SIMBL hack in an hour or so if it was not so accessible.

So, unless you have a specifc need and know how to go about it, as much as I absolutely hate AppleScript and refuse to use it, the AppleScript method is your best way. If you don't know what a launched.plist is, or enjoy the cli, going below this level is "complexifying".

Now, if you're up to learning a bit more about the system, there have been many "lets go a bit further" threads that have wound up on discussions relating to this very topic. One even had a c++ snip containing code to do nothing more than remove the +x flag from its metadata, which was done well but was 50 lines longer than my python script calling xattr directly. Since I am curious as to how the flag winds up on downloaded files, I'll continue the discussion on the forums since it goes beyond the scope of the discussion.

Summary: Files downloaded via Safari still come quarantined. Even with the 10.6 changes, (new?) requirements on writing quick applescripts that might make it more complex, the applescript method is your best bet for just removing the warning or using the power of applescript to postprocess certain files over to something like iTunes. In addition, this site and many top google hints have simple and effective examples for you to copy and paste.

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