Mac does not boot: Unrecoverable error by TeamViewerAuthPlugin: start

Unrecoverable Error: When the Mac no longer boots

A reader wrote to me today that her Mac no longer boots after throwing TeamViewer off the disk. What exactly happens is the following: The Mac boots, but does not start up because an error message appears beforehand, which can only be acknowledged with OK. The exact message is:

Unrecoverable error. SecurityAgent was unable to create requested mechanism TeamViewerAuthPlugin: start.

Reinstalling macOS is unsuccessful

My first idea with such problems is to boot the Mac with CMD + R in recovery mode and then install macOS Catalina over it. Unfortunately, this "trick" has no effect in the present case. For this reason we will have to look around for other solutions.

Incidentally, starting in safe mode (with the SHIFT key pressed) does not help. The Mac still does not boot.

Unrecoverable Error: If TeamViewer is not uninstalled properly, the Mac may no longer boot.

Unrecoverable Error: If TeamViewer is not uninstalled properly, the Mac may no longer boot.

What is the cause of the error?

To clarify how the matter can be resolved, it is often helpful to know why the error arose in the first place. As I could read in various forum posts - even in the TeamViewer forum - it is not a good idea to simply drag the TeamViewer app from the programs folder to the trash in order to uninstall it.

Instead, it is recommended to go to Settings> Advanced> Uninstall in the app itself, as in this case all data will also be removed from the system folders. Failure to do this can lead to the above problem.

Mac panic due to the authorization plug-in not being found

In one case, this occurred because a user deleted TeamViewer with CleanMyMac, which removed all data associated with TeamViewer. In detail: TeamViewer registers an authorization plug-in during installation, but it was not de-registered when the relevant data was removed. For this reason, macOS expects the plugin to load when booting, but does not find the "TeamViewerAuthPlugin.bundle" file in the "/ Library / Security / SecurityAgents /" folder and panics.

Note: I cannot give any guarantees as to the reliability or security of the steps described here. What you do is at your own risk and I am not responsible for any damage or loss of data. However, if all goes well, you should be able to restart your Mac after the procedure.

In both instructions you have to boot the Mac into recovery mode. To do this, hold down CMD + R when restarting (Photos: Sir Apfelot).

In both instructions you have to boot the Mac into recovery mode. To do this, hold down CMD + R when restarting (Photos: Sir Apfelot).

I got the following two instructions from English From this page translated.

Solution 1: Remove the authorization database

With this approach, the auth.db is deleted so that the Mac can create it again.

  1. Boot into recovery mode
    1. Restart your Mac and hold the keys CMD + R until the logo appears. This may take a moment - be patient.
    2. When you're inside, choose your language, username and enter your password (it wasn't necessary for me). Follow the instructions until you see the window "macOS utilities" see.
    3. Choose "Disk Utility"in this window.

      In the macOS utilities, select the hard disk utility to check whether the hard disks are mounted or activated.

      In the macOS utilities, select the hard disk utility to check whether the hard disks are mounted or activated.

  2. Activate the hard drives
    1. In the hard disk utility you select in the left column under "Internal" the hard disk "Macintosh HD"and then click in the right area on"Enable". (see tips 3 and 4)Tip 1-1: If you are asked for a password when activating, enter your login password.
      Tip 1-2: The hard drive may already be activated. If you mark the hard drive on the left and a "Deactivate" button appears on the right and a colored info bar is visible, this means that the hard drive is already activated.
      Tip 1-3: The name of the hard disk may be different than in this example. However, the offense is the same.
  3. Open the terminal
    1. To make sure that the hard drives are activated, go to the menu bar and go to "Utilities"and then select"Port".
    2. Enter the following command: ls /Volumes/. This command lists all activated hard drives.
    3. You should have the name of your main hard drive (s) like "Macintosh HD"in the list. For example:
      Macintosh HD/ Macintosh HD - Data/Tip 1-4: The number of entries (hard drives) and their names may be different on your Mac

      In addition to the Macintosh HD and Macintosh HD data, I also displayed the other external hard drives.

      In addition to the Macintosh HD and Macintosh HD data, I also displayed the other external hard drives.

  4. Delete the file
    1. Enter the following command in the terminal:
      rm "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/var/db/auth.db"Tip 1-5 - Very important: The command above will delete the auth.db file. For this reason, you have to be sure that you give the path in the correct format. So:
      a) Remember that the command is case sensitive. This means, for example, that "macintosh" is different from "Macintosh".
      b) Make sure there is a space between "rm"and the Path is just like between "Macintosh" and "HD".
      c) The path should be enclosed in quotation marks "".

      Tip 1-6: Any error message like "No such file or directory" or "Read-only file system" means that there is an error in the file path. So before you call for help, take a deep breath and compare the command you entered with the command above. Then you will surely find the mistake.

  5. Überprüfen
    1. If that is successful, you will not get any congratulations. Don't take it personally!
    2. To make sure the file is deleted, enter the following command. He should not Output "auth.db" as the result.
      ls "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/var/db/auth.db"Tip 1-7: If the file is still there, it means you made a mistake - probably in the file path. Repeat step 4 again and this time make sure that you type everything exactly as it is in these instructions.

      Here you can see the auth.db file that we want to delete.

      Here you can see the auth.db file that we want to delete.

  6. restart
    1. If the check was successful, don't rejoice too soon, because now you have to restart your Mac - and keep your fingers crossed!
    2. To restart the Mac, go to the Apple icon in the top left and select "Restart" from the menu. Then wait for the Mac to restart.
    3. If you can make it back to login, then
      1. enter your password
      2. close your eyes
      3. press return
      4. give the Mac a minute and (only then!) open your eyes ... don't cheat!
      5. when he booted cleanly, come back to my page and share your feeling ... ;-)

Solution 2: copy file from another Mac

Another way to get the Mac to boot again is to copy the missing file back into the appropriate folder. However, this requires a second Mac on which TeamViewer has been installed. If you don't have a second Mac, you should choose solution 1.

  1. Obtain missing file
    1. Install TeamViewer on another Mac.
    2. Copy the "TeamViewerAuthPlugin.bundle" file from / Library / Security / SecurityAgent / onto a USB stick.
      Tip 2-1: The stick must first be formatted in the hard disk utility as "Mac OS Journaled with upper and lower case".
  2. Boot Mac into Recovery Mode
    1. Start the Mac and hold the CMD + R keys until the Apple logo appears. This may take a while, please be patient.
    2. If you are in recovery mode, choose a language, username and password and go to the "macOS Utilities" window (note: I didn't have to enter anything).
    3. In the "macOS Utilities" window, select the "Disk Utility".
  3. Mount or activate the hard drives
    1. Now you plug the USB stick into the Mac.
    2. In the hard disk service program, select the hard disk “Macintosh HD” under “Internal” on the left and click on the “Activate” button in the bar at the top right (note: the hard disks were already activated for me).
    3. In the left area under "External" you select the USB stick and click on "Activate".
      Disk Utility will verify that the Macintosh HD is activated. If this is the case, there is the "Deactivate" button at the top right. Otherwise "Activate" would be written there.

      Disk Utility will verify that the Macintosh HD is activated. If this is the case, there is the "Deactivate" button at the top right. Otherwise "Activate" would be written there.

      Tip 2-2: If you are asked for a password when mounting, you enter the login password.
      Tip 2-3: It is possible that the USB stick is already activated. In this case you can see the "Deactivate" button instead of "Activate". In this case, the info line is colored, which means that the drive is activated.
      Tip 2-4: The name of the hard drive or the USB stick can vary.

      The terminal can be found via the "Utilities" menu.

      The terminal can be found via the "Utilities" menu.

  4. Open the terminal
    1. If you are sure that the hard drive and the USB stick are mounted, select under "Utilities" the app "Port"and start it.
    2. Enter this command:
      ls /Volumes/
      This shows all activated volumes.
    3. You should see the name of your USB stick in the output, e.g. "MyUSB", see in a row with the name of your internal hard drive, e.g."Macintosh HD".
      MyUSB/ Macintosh HD/ Macintosh HD - Data/
      Tip 2-5: The number of entries and their names may differ from the example here, but it should match what is discovered in Disk Utility.
  5. Copy the file
    1. Enter the following command in the terminal (see tip 10):
      cp -r "/Volumes/MyUSB/TeamViewerAuthPlugin.bundle" "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Library/Security/SecurityAgentPlugins/"

      Tip 2-6 - very important:
      The command above copies the missing file from the USB stick to the Macintosh HD hard drive. For this reason you have to make sure that you have given the correct file path:
      a) Remember that the command is case sensitive. "myusb" is different from "MyUSB".
      b) spaces are important. For example, there is a space between "cp" and "-r" or between "Macintosh" and "HD" or between the first and second file paths.
      c) Both paths should be enclosed in quotation marks "".
      Tip 2-7: Any error message like "No such file or directory"Or"Read-only file system", means either that the first or the second path was not specified correctly. Before you ask for help, please check twicewhether you have specified the paths correctly.
  6. Check
    1. To make sure the file was copied correctly, enter the following command. The output should be the file "TeamViewerAuthPlugin.bundle"(see note 10)
      ls "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Library/Security/SecurityAgentPlugins/"
      Tip 2-8: If the file cannot be found, it means you made a mistake. Probably with the paths in the command to copy. Please start again at step 4 and check the entries carefully.
  7. restart
    1. Once the copy process is verified, don't rejoice too soon, because now you have to start your Mac and keep your fingers crossed.
    2. To initiate the restart, go to the apple menu in the top left and select "Restart". Wait for the Mac to finish.
    3. If you can make it to the login screen, then:
      1. enter your password
      2. close your eyes
      3. press return
      4. give the Mac a minute and (only then!) open your eyes ... don't cheat!
      5. when he booted cleanly, come back to my page and share your feeling ... ;-)

    Tip 9: Please take your time and follow the instructions carefully to avoid making a mistake.
    Tip 10: All commands should be entered in one continuous line. The spaces and special characters such as “/” and “\” must also be taken into account.

Does the Mac boot again? Your tips are in demand!

If the instructions helped to solve the problem, I would be happy to hear from you. If it didn't work for you, please write to me at which step it hangs. I will then gladly try to help you.

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15 comments

  1. Martin Schellmoser says:

    Exciting thing and good to know. As always, many thanks for the detailed tutorial! And remember: Always uninstall TeamViewer properly. Only one thing is not clear to me: How can TeamViewer (installed in the conventional way) penetrate so deeply into the system that normal start-up is no longer possible? Past gatekeepers and SIP? That is certainly not intended by Apple ...

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      That's a good question. I guess during the installation you will be asked for the admin-PW and then the evil starts. I'd rather be by now AnyDesk tend ... that doesn't make such nonsense.

  2. Bärbel says:

    MEGA
    Thanks a million, that helped. I feel like an IT specialist now ????

  3. Aleyna says:

    Thank you, thanks to your description, I got my Macbook back.
    A question, how can I completely delete Teamviewer so that something like this doesn't happen again? Lg Aleyna

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Aleyna! This is only possible via the TeamViewer software itself: There you go to Settings> Advanced> Uninstall. Then the software is completely removed.

  4. Eray K. says:

    Hello, I have the same problem. However, I cannot follow your steps because I cannot restart my Mac at all because the power button on my touchbar is missing. Can you help me?

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Eray! What kind of mac do you have And where is the power button? The location doesn't really matter for the instructions ... you just have to hold down the power button for a long time. Then it reboots.

  5. Maria St. says:

    Pooh !! Thanks a million for your guidance! My heart is pumping again…. Thanks!!

  6. Thekla says:

    Oh man! My evening and the rest of the week are saved! Thanks a million for these instructions!

  7. Alex says:

    Its working again. Mega.
    Many Thanks !!!

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