Catalina permissions: Chrome, Zoom, etc

Ran into trouble this weekend where I was unable to add permissions for a number of apps to allow access to my microphone and camera.  (And yes, I’m aware of the security horrors of Zoom but I had work to do.)

They wouldn’t give the normal permissions request:

Instead, I got a message directing me to System Preferences:

Once there, the prefs did not list the app for normal check-to-enable:

I couldn’t unlock and drag on an app.

With some help from Bas Broek and this article, which specifically addressed the inability to grant access in Catalina, I discovered that rebooting with a NVRAM/PRAM reset might help. It sounded like sacrificing chicken entrails but it worked. While a regular reboot didn’t help, the Cmd+Option+PR reboot did.

Apple Support Article: How to reset NVRAM or PRAM on your Mac.

I hope this helps someone else to avoid the time I wasted.


  • That’s very odd because our neigbour died a few weeks ago and the celebration service was conducted using zoom and I don’t remember any issues like this on Catalina.

    Don’t know why you have one experience and I had another.

    • It turns out that if you reset NVRAM/PRAM/whatever, that a lot of the ask-to-approve issues resolve. I don’t have an idea of the process underlying it…

  • Quality of Apple’s hardwares and softwares are really getting shitty. Sometimes bluetooth of my MBP went down entirely after unplugging/plugging the power cord. Rebooting doesn’t help. I have to reset SMC and PRAM to get my bluetooth back. Weird case +1.