“Zotero.app“ wants access to control “System Events.app“.

edited April 11, 2020
OSX Mojave / current Zotero

I just got this warning (yes/no dialog), while working in Word and trying to update a citation:
“Zotero.app“ wants access to control “System Events.app“. Allowing control will provide access to documents and data in “System Events.app“, and to perform actions within that app.
Any idea what that's about? Is that intentional, or something wrong with integration with new security settings on OSX?

(Update: it just happened again. I don't believe I've seen this before. I'm also not sure what's triggering it, but if helpful I could try to log it.)
  • Curious. This has happened to me at least twice since I installed Catalina. I don't have Word installed. This dialog appeared when I selected a group of Zotero records to export in MODS format. I get the expected save dialog box and immediately (simultaneously) with the do-you-want-to-replace dialog box I also get the System Events alert mentioned by @djross3. I said No to System Events and Yes to Replace. The exported items file was properly replaced. I have performed the MODS save and replace countless other times without without receiving the System Events alert.
  • In my case, I simply ignored the alert (and the system made it disappear after maybe 60 seconds), because I didn't want to disable any crucial functionality, but also wasn't sure I should enable this if it wasn't intended. Regardless, it didn't seem to have an effect on Zotero working.

    Interesting the same happened to you. I saw some older threads where others were getting the same warning, but specifically related to plug-ins and other extensions, not just the standard Zotero app (as in my case).
  • Any other input from the developers, or a general recommendation to accept/deny?
  • It's normal. In the latest version of Zotero, this can happen if you click one of the plugin buttons a second time while a plugin window is already open (or if you double-click the button). Zotero uses a system event to bring the existing window to the front (and the method to do that changed in 5.0.85 to make it more reliable, which is why you're seeing this now). You can probably say no without any ill effects other than needing to find the open window manually.

    The only other place this is currently used is if you open a zotero://open-pdf link that includes a page number, in which case Zotero may use a system event to tell Preview or another PDF reader to switch to a specific page after opening the PDF.

    (If you say no to one of these, the other will also stop working.)
  • Great, thanks. I have no objection, just was wondering. (I remember a similar kind of prompt about monitoring the keyboard (or similar) being an unintended warning a while ago.)
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