Example of Access Message When Installing NVivo for Mac

Some researchers are experiencing difficulties installing NVivo for Mac on computers with the M1 and M2 chips. If you encounter the error message ‘NVivo needs permission to access data on your computer before it can run‘ and giving full access does not resolve the issue, the following solution is proven to work for many researchers.

For assistance with this process, please contact dig_schol@baylor.edu

The following is derived from this NVivo forum.


  1. In TextEdit (or any text editor), create a blank text file named CloudTabs.db and place it temporarily in a folder such as Desktop. Make sure the file does not have an RTF label.
    • What is CloudTabs.db? Cloudtabs.db file is used to sync between devices using iCloud. NVivo uses the file to check the permissions of accessing the disk by reading the file. If NVivo can access the file, that means the app has the permission and it will not prompt for full disk access.
    • Having trouble creating the blank CloudTabs.db file? We created the file for anyone to download: CloudTabs.db
  2. Make sure NVivo is closed and make sure Full Disk Access permissions in System Preferences > Security and Privacy > Privacy tab is removed for NVivo.
  3. Restart the computer and then add Full Disk Access permissions again for NVivo. Do not launch NVivo.
  4. Open Finder.
  5. Go to the Desktop (or wherever you created it) and copy CloudTabs.db.
  6. Open another Finder window and click on Go from the Finder menu option.
  7. Press the Option key on the keyboard. The Library option should now show under the Go menu.
  8. Click on Library.
  9. Navigate to the Safari folder then paste CloudTabs.db in the Safari folder.
  10. Close Finder and launch NVivo.

Problems Installing NVivo on Mac? (NVivo needs permission to access data on your computer before it can run)

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