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Troubleshooting AirBuddy installation issues

AirBuddy needs to keep running in the background in order to keep information about your devices and its widgets always up to date. To do that, the app installs a helper process automatically during initial setup, or when you turn on "Enable AirBuddy" in the app's settings.

AirBuddy does this at the user account level whenever possible, but depending on the configuration of your system, directory permissions may require AirBuddy to ask for an administrator password during this process. Sometimes there can be failures when the app tries to install or update the component responsible for this, but there are some easy ways to fix that.

Get the latest release

AirBuddy receives new updates frequently, and a new release may have solved issues that you're experiencing. If you're not sure if the app is up-to-date, download the latest version from this link and replace the currently installed version.

Making sure the app is in the right place

First of all, make sure that you have moved the AirBuddy app into the Applications folder on your Mac. Running AirBuddy from your Downloads folder or from within the disk image it came in is not supported.

Checking if the AirBuddy helper process is running

To check if the AirBuddy helper process is running, you can launch the Activity Monitor app and look for a process named "AirBuddy". The helper app is actually called "AirBuddyHelper", but it shows up in Activity Monitor as simply "AirBuddy". If you have the AirBuddy settings window opened, then you should see two apps named "AirBuddy" in activity monitor when the helper is also running.

Launching AirBuddy automatically when you log in

There's no need to manually add AirBuddy to your login items. The app manages its own helper process, which you can turn on or off with the "Enable AirBuddy" switch in the app's settings.

If AirBuddy shows up in the Dock when you reboot your Mac

If you see the AirBuddy icon running in the Dock after rebooting your Mac, then it's probably in your user's login items, which is not necessary. To fix that, go to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items and remove AirBuddy from the list.

"There was an error when trying to install the AirBuddy helper process"

If you see this error message when trying to setup or enable AirBuddy, and you've previously been asked for your password during installation, following the steps below may resolve the issue:

  • Make sure "Enable AirBuddy" is off
  • Quit AirBuddy
  • In Finder's main menu, select Go > Go To Folder…
  • Paste in /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools and press enter
  • Find and select the file named codes.rambo.AirBuddy.Installer
  • Press Command + Delete to remove it, Finder will ask you for your password or Touch ID
  • Launch AirBuddy
  • Toggle "Enable AirBuddy" on again

If the above steps don't resolve the issue, follow the steps below to reset the app's installation data.

If the installation gets stuck with a progress indicator during setup

If you get the app stuck in the installation step during setup, you can follow the steps in the next section to resolve it.

Reset installation data

There may be installation data from older versions of the app on your system that could be causing a new version to fail to install. Following the steps below will remove such data, but it won't affect any of your other data in AirBuddy:

  • If you're already in the app's main settings window, make sure "Enable AirBuddy" is off in the app's settings
  • Quit AirBuddy or cancel the setup process if it's stuck
  • Launch Terminal (Applications > Utilities > Terminal)
  • Paste the command defaults delete codes.rambo.AirBuddy effectiveLaunchdPlistInstallURL then press Return on your keyboard to run it
  • Paste the command launchctl remove codes.rambo.AirBuddyHelper then press Return on your keyboard to run it
  • Re-run AirBuddy and proceed with the setup

Fix permissions

If after the above steps the installation still fails, repeat the steps above, then before attempting to enable AirBuddy again, follow the steps below in order to fix the permissions of your user's LaunchAgents folder, which is where the app registers its helper process:

  • Make sure you have performed all steps above and haven't attempted to enable AirBuddy again after performing them
  • Launch Terminal (Applications > Utilities > Terminal)
  • Paste the command mkdir -p ~/Library/LaunchAgents && chmod 755 ~/Library/LaunchAgents then press Return on your keyboard to run it
  • Launch AirBuddy
  • Toggle "Enable AirBuddy" on again

macOS Ventura or later: reset background items database

In macOS Ventura and later, there's a new mechanism for managing login items, which is adopted by many apps, including AirBuddy. The database used by this new system can sometimes get corrupted, especially after updating from a previous version of macOS. This results in apps being unable to register login items in some situations.

If you're running macOS Ventura or later and none of the suggestions in this page has worked, follow the steps below to reset the background items database:

  • Launch Terminal (Applications > Utilities > Terminal)
  • Copy and paste the following command, then press the return key to run it (you'll have to enter your user's password):
  • sudo sfltool resetbtm
  • Restart your Mac
  • Launch AirBuddy from the Applications folder, then toggle "Enable AirBuddy" on