Why does the MathWorks installer fail to start on MacOS?

365 views (last 30 days)
Why does the MathWorks Product installer fail to start on MacOS? The installer provides no error message when it crashes, it just doesn't launch.

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 28 Sep 2022 at 4:00
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 2 Sep 2022
There are a few reasons the MATLAB installer might fail to run on MacOS without displaying an error message or creating a crash logs.
1. System Requirements
Ensure that the release of MATLAB that you are attempting to install is compatible with the version of MacOS that is installed on your Mac:
To determine the version of MacOS that you are running:
  • Click on the Apple Menu in the upper left-hand corner of the screen
  • Click "About This Mac"
You may be able to install an older release of MATLAB on a version of MacOS not explicitly supported by that release by installing some legacy components.
For R2013a and earlier, you need to have legacy Java 6 installed to install MATLAB:
If installing R2013a and earlier on MacOS 10.10 "Yosemite" or later, you may need to force the installer to use legacy Java 6:
For R2012a and earlier, you need to have XQuartz installed to install MATLAB:
2. Permissions
Your account must have administrative permissions to install MATLAB. If you do not have administrative permissions on your Mac, contact your system administrator.
3. Multiple installers
On MacOS, the installer folder contains two installers:
  • InstallForMacOSX.app
  • install
The first option is the standard graphical MATLAB installer. The second option is only for installing MATLAB from the Terminal. These are not interchangeable: if installing graphically, use InstallForMacOSX.app, if installing from the Terminal, use install. For more information on installing from the Terminal, see the MATLAB documentation:
4. Security software
Security and antivirus software may prevent you from installing MATLAB. Temporarily disable your security software, or add MATLAB to your security software's whitelist, to launch the installer. You can also check to see if your system integrity is turned on.
5. Third-party archive tool
If you have installed third-party archive tools such as The Unarchiver or WinZip for Mac, make sure you extract the installer before running it. The installer cannot be run from inside the zip archive it was downloaded in, and must be extracted to a folder before it will run.
6. The prompt to enter your Mac account information is being blocked
If you are not receiving the prompt to enter your Mac account information after running the installer, it is possible that something has prevented this prompt from appearing. The directions below this paragraph could fix this issue. Keep in mind that you will need administrative privileges to follow these steps.
  1. Open the System Preferences app on your Mac.
  2. Select the Security & Privacy section
  3. Make sure you have selected the Privacy tab on the top of this window
  4. Click the lock in the bottom left corner of the window to authorize changes and type in your Mac password. If you are not an administrator, you will need an administrator to enter their information to make these changes.
  5. On the left-hand side, scroll down and select the Full Disk Access section
  6. A new section on the right-hand side should open. Scroll through this list on the right-hand side. If you see an item labeled XProtect.app, make sure it is checked. If you do not see this, follow the steps below to add it.
    1. Press the + button underneath the list of apps.
    2. Select any folder on the left-hand side of the Finder window.
    3. Next to the search bar should be the name of the folder you selected. Select this and a dropdown menu will open.
    4. Select Macintosh HD
    5. Select the folders in the following order: Library -> Apple -> System -> Library -> CoreServices
    6. Select XProtect.app and then Open. The app should now be added to the list of allowed apps with Full Disk Access
  7. Restart your computer
  8. If this does not work, you may also add the Installer to the list of programs with Full Disk Access. A restart may be necessary.
7. Rosetta is not installed
If you are using a Mac with an M1 or M2 series processor, you may not have Rosetta installed. You may install Rosetta by following these steps:
  1. Open the Terminal app. You can do this by selecting the magnifying glass in the top right corner of your screen, typing in Terminal, and then selecting the first result.
  2. Enter the command into terminal: /usr/sbin/softwareupdate
  3. Press enter/return on your keyboard

More Answers (3)

Ding on 14 Sep 2021
Edited: Ding on 14 Sep 2021
Tried all the methods but still cannot install. The installation freezes at the very beginning window.
Tried 2021a, 2020a,b on macOS 11.6.

Todd Houle
Todd Houle on 16 Jul 2020
I had to disable SIP before it would launch. (https://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/mac/how-turn-off-mac-os-x-system-integrity-protection-rootless-3638975/) Note that disabling SIP is a bad idea for security and points to a problem with Matlabs installer that this step is required.
Colin Fraser
Colin Fraser on 2 Sep 2020
If you are still experiencing this issue, please create a service request below.
-Colin Fraser

Sign in to comment.

Ian Cohn
Ian Cohn on 28 Jan 2021
Seems to me like this is being caused when zipping/creating a dmg/iso from the install folder does NOT account for finder aliases that are apparently created when Mathworks' offline download utility downloads the install files. Moreover, there are some of the .dylib files that are symlinked twice in the same directory. If you then create a dmg/iso from this folder, the symlinks are translated as literal files, rather than the OS recognizing them as links that it then follows.creating the symlinks after copying the install files from a created dmg to a writable location so you can generate the inputs.txt file seems like it would work.


No tags entered yet.


Community Treasure Hunt

Find the treasures in MATLAB Central and discover how the community can help you!

Start Hunting!