How to Enable and Enable Kernel Extensions on Apple Silicon Macs

Apple silicon chips use different security protocols, which you need to adjust if you want to install third-party kernel extensions.

If you want to run kernel extensions anyway, you need to allow them by changing your Mac’s security policy through macOS Recovery. Here’s how.

Step 1. Enter macOS Recovery

You need to start by entering macOS Recovery on your Apple Silicon Mac.

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Turn it back on, but hold down the Able button until you see Loading boot options flash on the screen.
  3. Wait to arrive at Boot Options filter.
  4. To select Options > Continue.
  5. Select your Mac’s administrator account and enter the password to load macOS Recovery.

Step 2. Allow Kernel Extensions

In macOS Recovery, use the Startup Security Utility to allow kernel extensions on your Mac.

  1. To select Utilities > Startup Security Utility from the menu bar.
  2. Select your startup disk and select the Security policy button.
  3. Select the radio button next to Reduced security. Then check the box next to Allow user management of kernel extensions by identified developers.
  4. To select OKAY. Enter your Mac’s administrator password and select Continue.
  5. Open the apple menuto select To restartand let your Mac boot normally.

Step 3. Enable Kernel Extensions

To activate a kext that installs with a program, use the Mac’s System Preferences application.

  1. Open the System Preferences the app and select Security and Privacy.
  2. Select the Lock and enter your Mac’s administrator password.
  3. To select To permit.
  4. To select To restart.
  5. Wait for your Mac to finish restarting.

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Only Activate Kexs You Trust

Kernel extensions can compromise your Mac’s security, so only enable them from developers you trust. If you have doubts about a specific kext, you should not let it run. When you’re done using kexts, it’s a good idea to undo any changes you’ve made here to return your Mac’s security policy to normal.


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Steven L. Nielsen