I'm on macOS Catalina, and I'm using Emacs for Mac OS X. When I click File > Open, or the Open button on the toolbar, or "Open a File" on the splash screen, I get a crash.

I have tried some other Emacs distributions, namely:

  • emacs --with-cocoa installed via Homebrew
  • emacs-plus installed via Homebrew

I have granted file system access to the various executables for each distribution, and all three options give the same errors.

Here's the part of the crash report that I think is most helpful:

Application Specific Information:
*** Terminating app due to uncaught exception 'NSObjectNotAvailableException',
reason: 'EmacsSavePanel is not a supported subclass for sandboxing'
abort() called
terminating with uncaught exception of type NSException

From the crash report, I thought the problem was with file system access. I followed the steps in this question, but giving /usr/bin/ruby full disk access did not fix the problem. I've also tried giving the following full disk access, but so far no success:

  • The Emacs app
  • the Emacs executable inside the Emacs app
  • The Homebrew install of Ruby (both /usr/local/bin/ruby and /usr/local/Cellar/ruby/2.6.5/bin/ruby

Is there something else I should be looking for?

  • I suggest to use Homebrew to install emacs-plus from this site: github.com/d12frosted/homebrew-emacs-plus. That does not exhibit such problem. Further, when opening and accessing, IIRC, will ask for giving permission, and the results will be shown in Setting -> Security & Privacy -> Privacy -> File and Folders. If not, manually add Emacs there (I do not remember to do it manually in my case...).
    – Ian
    Oct 30, 2019 at 15:33
  • Thanks Ian. I have tried emacs-plus, the "regular" emacs via Homebrew, and emacs --with-cocoa, which appears to just download the Emacs for Mac OS X package. All give the same result. None ask for permission and adding permission manually via Settings > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Full Disk Access does not fix the issue either. I will add some of this info to my question.
    – dixius99
    Oct 30, 2019 at 16:07


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