MacOS Tips

CHIRP Beginners Guide

The Beginners Guide has general help. Click here for the Beginners Guide
If you need Mac-specific help, you are at the right page.

Join the Mailing list & search the archives for similar problem reports & how they were resolved, and/or ask the group. Please include enough info about the problem and situation so the community will be able to help you.

Not all functionality is supported on all radios. See Model Support

Application Security in MacOS 10.9+

As of MacOS 10.9, signed packages are required by default. Apple charges for this capability, and requires use of their tooling to do it. For the time being, MacOS users may need to disable signed package checking for CHIRP. Instructions provided by Jim, K2SON:

  1. Locate the app in Finder.
  2. Right click (control-click if you don't have a 2 button mouse) on the app and click Open.
  3. You will get a dialog box about it being an unsigned app, click the Open button.
  4. Enter an Administrator userid and password.
  5. The app will now be flagged to allow it to be opened normally in the future.

Alternately, you can disable them for your entire system, although this has security implications that should not be ignored. Instructions for this provided by Tom, KD7LXL:

  1. Open your System Preferences
  2. Go to Security & Privacy, General tab.
  3. Click the lock
  4. Then choose Allow apps downloaded from: Anywhere.

Application Security in MacOS 10.12 - 10.14

As of 10.12 (Sierra) the UI for disabling app security was removed. The functionality is still there, but must be enabled from the command line.

To whitelist a single application (like an unzipped
  1. unzip
  2. control click on the unzipped application and select New Terminal at Folder. (Don't see that menu item? Instructions to enable it)
  3. run this command in the newly opened terminal window:
    spctl --add $PWD

Alternately, you can disable them for your entire system, although this has security implications that should not be ignored. Run this command in a terminal:

sudo spctl --master-enable

references: single command global

Application Security in MacOS 10.15+ (Catalina)

Unfortunately, Apple has made significant changes in 10.15 which cause major issues for independent software developers. CHIRP is significantly impacted and the future is unclear.

At the very least, Catalina users should use the "unified" build of the app provided on the download page, which uses the system's 64-bit python runtime. Also note that there are significant limitations on what files unsigned applications can access which makes it very difficult to open, save, find, and otherwise organize image and CSV files with chirp. Please see issue #7147 for the current information about workarounds.

You can also try manually signing the CHIRP app

xattr -c /Applications/
xattr -c /Applications/
codesign --force --deep --sign - /Applications/

MacOS 12.3+ (Monterey)

As of macOS 12.3, Apple has removed python2.x support. However, you can install the open-source python distribution package to restore it. This is only needed once per system, after which the .app will work normally. Download it directly from or use the local mirror .

This reportedly works in macOS 12.3 on Intel and Apple Silicon machines.

Mac USB Drivers

USB to serial cables are not merely wire, they contain small computer circuits at one end of the cable that respond as a USB device and convert the data to serial. These cables are not all the same, so the computer needs a software "driver" so it can recognize the cable and speak to it correctly. You will need to install one of these 5 below.

FTDI cables

Note that with Mac OSX 10.9 "Mavericks", Apple provides their own driver for FTDI chipset. You may need to remove the OEM FTDI driver and use only the Apple FTDI driver, or you may need to disable the Apple FTDI driver and install the OEM FTDI drivers. YMMV.
Version 1.5.1 is available for Mac OS X on 64 bit, 32 bit and PPC machines.

Prolific PL-2303 cables

Official drivers for the genuine Prolific cables

FYI: your cable, if using Prolific chipset, is more likely to be using a counterfeit chip than an original.
Login as guest/ guest & look in the Support section. Specified to work with Mac OSX 10.6, 10.7, & 10.8.

Generic PL-2303 cables

These are counterfeit and/or “Generic”. If you aren't sure what kind of inexpensive cable you have, try this one first.

For Lion (10.7.x-10.9.x):

You can try this one, which install open source pl2303 driver and remove any other driver versions: At this web page you may need to right-click or control-click to link to get it to download. After downloading, you may need to control-right click, then open in order to bypass Mac Gatekeeper.

RTSystems cables

for OSX 10.9.x (aka Mavericks):

see RTSystemsCablesAndMavericks

for OSX < 10.9.x:

Silicon Labs CP210x

These USB to UART Bridge VCP Drivers work for cables with this chip, including Kenwood TH-D72.

WinChipHead CH340 series chipset

The WinChipHead CH340 series chipset is not compatible with the Prolific 2303 drivers. This chipset will report a Product ID of 0x7523 and a Vendor ID of 0x1a86. A signed driver compatible with Yosemite is available from as the driver offered on the manufacturer's website (in Chinese) is not signed and requires allowing unsigned kernel extensions, which is a significant security risk on OS X.


  • In many cases you need to connect the cable to the radio first, then power the radio on, while holding down some buttons. The exact procedure varies by radio.
  • Some radios need to be put into a "clone" mode to transfer to PC, some radios may need to be configured to use the mic/speaker jacks for PC transfer instead of for the speaker/mic. The exact procedure varies by radio.
  • You will need to download from the radio to CHIRP first, before uploading anything to the radio. CHIRP creates a template from the radio download so it knows how to talk to the radio.
  • If you want to download from one radio and upload those settings to another radio, first download from each radio to a separate “tab” of CHIRP. Then copy/paste from one tab to the other & upload back to the same radio that produced that tab. Do not try to upload to a radio directly from a tab that was not downloaded from that same radio.
  • Many USB to serial cables include a counterfeit Prolific chip. This can cause connection problems because the official Prolific driver will ignore the counterfeit chip. Some people have reported success by using an older version of the Prolific driver, or a 3rd party driver.
  • If you are using multiple USB cables, each will create a different “virtual port”, meaning that you will need to select the correct virtual port for your radio when connecting to your radio. CHIRP will give you this opportunity each time you download from the radio.
  • If CHIRP won’t launch & won't run, you may have neglected to install the Python runtime. CHIRP needs that. Even though Mac OS X includes Python built-in, the runtime has to be installed is because it includes PyGTK and some other libraries that Chirp requires, in addition to Python itself:
  • If your radio is not "Supported", you can try downloading the newest Daily Build to see if support was recently added.


You can verify that the drivers are installed & working by connecting the USB cable to your Mac, then running “System Profiler”, or “System Information” (found in /Applications/Utilities ). When the USB cable is connected and drivers correctly installed, the cable will show up in the USB section of the System Profiler.

Another way to see that the driver is correctly installed is to open Terminal and type:

ls /dev/cu*

It will return a list of virtual serial ports including something similar to:

/dev/cu.usbserial-A501XQ5I     (suffix will vary)

You may also type:


That will return a long list of kexts, including something similar to this at the bottom (most recently installed are listed last):

142    0 0xffffff7f81fc8000 0x8000      0x8000     com.FTDI.driver.FTDIUSBSerialDriver (2.2.18) &lt;112 32 5 4 3 1&gt;

Look at the CHIRP log for clues.


Join the Mailing list & search the archives for similar problem reports & how they were resolved, and/or ask the group. Please include enough info about the problem and situation so the community will be able to help you.