Endote always starts as customizer/installer

Just installed Endote 7 for Mac and set up my librabry account. But everytime I open the app it goes into installation mode (see picture) and asks me to Select Installation type, Accept the license agreements etc. 

I tried un-installing & installing again. What can I do? What’s wrong? 

Thank you!


I suspect you’re running macOS Sierra - this repeated activation issue is a known incompatibility between EndNote X7 and this new operating system.  If you’re attempting to activate EndNote with a single-user license product key, you should be able to workaround the problematic behavior by reinstalling with an appropriately-signed installer that we’ve got a link to within the following knowledgebase article:


Please let me know if this helps.

The proposed solution let’s me start normally now - however - only in the trial version. So first of, thanks. 

However I got the applicaition via my college software distributer. Hence I don’t have a license number (apparently Endnote was supposed to activate itself automatically during the installation process.) 

Is there a workaround for this particular problem? Unfortunately downgrading MacOS Sierra is not an option. 

This is due to compatibility issues with Sierra for Volume license installations of EndNote X7. As indicated by that knowledge base article (http://endnote.com/kb/140624), “Volume and Site license unlocked installers will not work correctly on 10.12 (because the installers become unsigned during the standard volume license creation process, which has been made obsolete in 10.12 to patch security concerns), users will need to use the standard installer and method noted above and have the product key to unlock.” So, you would have to obtain a Product Key from your institution in order to Activate your installation:


EndNote X8 will be the first version of EndNote designed for compatibility with Sierra and will address this installation issue. That is due to be released on November 8th: http://endnote.com/product-details/X8

Try this:

  1. Navigate to your EndNote X7 folder. Mine is in the default: /Applications/EndNote X7
  2. Right-click (or two-finger click or whatever) on the EndNote X7 app and select Show Package Contents
  3. Inside the folder that comes up, click on Contents  and then  MacOS
  4. There should be a single file in the  MacOS folder named  EndNote X7.  You can run EndNote from here if you’d like.
  5. While holding  command and  option , drag the  EndNote X7 icon (with the black terminal icon) to the desktop
  6. Move this shortcut anywhere you’d like.  I moved mine into the  EndNote X7 folder

The first time it opens you may have to go through the setup screens again, but it shouldn’t ask you for any unlock code.  They say EndNote is incompatible with Sierra, but I haven’t had any problems at all.

Good luck.

I previously posted a workaround, but I’ve since discovered an actual fix.  All you have to do is clear the quarantine extended attribute from the command line using the Terminal app:

sudo xattr -r -d com.apple.quarantine /path/to/EndNote

Replace the path with the location of your EndNote app.  The easiest way to do this is to copy everything before the “/” in the command above and paste it into the Terminal window.  In the Finder , navigate to your EndNote folder and drag the EndNote application into the Terminal window to fill-in the correct path.  If you installed EndNote into the Applications folder (the default location), your command would look like this:

sudo xattr -r -d com.apple.quarantine /Applications/EndNote\ X7/EndNote\ X7.app

Press the  return key to execute the command and enter your password when prompted.  It won’t give you any indication that you correctly executed the command, but you should now be able to open EndNote without the pesky 30 Day Trial screen.

Thomson Reuters, your unwillingness to fix your product is deplorable.  I cannot believe your official response was to blame Apple, refuse to fix your sloppy code, and recommend all users spend extra money on a new version of EndNote.  I am filing a complaint with the BBB and FTC.

There are a few things to keep in mind here:

  1. This will only be an issue for site/volume license holders of EndNote X7 who are a part of an institution that did not renew their license subscription. The renewal would update them to EndNote X8, which is Sierra compatible. Those who have a single-user license of EndNote X7 will not have this issue. Those who are at institution that does not renew their site/volume license subscription can also choose to provide the information so that end users can install using the single-user installation process to avoid this issue.
  2. There is absolutely no intent to “blame” Apple here. The changes to Gatekeeper protection were intended to improve security. For more information on the changes to Gatekeeper protection in macOS Sierra, here are a couple of links: https://9to5mac.com/2016/06/15/macos-sierra-gatekeeper-changes/and http://mjtsai.com/blog/2016/06/16/gatekeeper-path-randomization/. Due to these changes made by Apple, developers of applications for the macOS Sierra environment have had to update the way their software installs. As development for EndNote X8 was already in process, these changes were incorporated into that application.
  3. You can certainly run a command to bypass the normal macOS Gatekeeper security monitor for the DMG file. You can issue a command such as xattr -d com.apple.quarantine “EndNote X7 Site Installer.dmg” in the Terminal. However, there is no guarantee this command will function in the future should Apple choose to disallow it or modify the way the Gatekeeper functions.