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Installing a macOS driver on Apple Silicon Mac Computers

Installing a macOS driver on Apple Silicon Mac Computers

The following steps will walk through you on how to install a CalDigit driver, such as Thunderbolt Station Charging Driver, on your M1-based macOS computer.

Summery:
To install KEXT (Kernel Extension) driver on Apple Silicon-based Macs, your computer requires the following one-time setup:

  • Enable Third-Party KEXTs from Recovery mode.
  • Install Rosetta software during driver installation.
  • Install and allow CalDigit driver to load from Security & Privacy preferences.

Step 1: Enable Third-Party KEXTs from Recovery mode

1.1. Click on the Apple logo at the top left of the screen and select Restart. Immediately hold down the Touch ID or Power button until you see the “Startup Security Utility” screen.

This image highlights the Touch ID or power button as seen on an example keyboard.

1.2. Select the macOS disk and click on the “Security Policy” button.

This image highlights the Security Policy option as seen on the Startup Security Utility window.

1.3. Select “Reduced Security” and “Allow user management of kernel extension from identified developers” and then click “OK”.

This image highlights the 'Reduced Security' option and the 'Allow user management of kernel extensions from identified developers' option as seen on the Startup Security Utility window.

1.4. Enter a computer administrator’s user name and password before clicking on the “OK” button.

Provides a visual example of the username and password requirements for step 1.4.

1.5. It will take few seconds to apply the changes. Once it’s done, click on the Apple menu and select “Restart”.

This image provides a visual example of the restart option mentioned in 1.5.

Now your Mac can accept third-party KEXT drivers.

Step 2: Install Rosetta software during driver installation

2.1. Download a CalDigit driver from https://downloads.caldigit.com, unzip it, and launch the installer.

2.2. If you have not installed Rosetta on your Apple Silicon Mac, it will provide a pop-up window asking you to install software called “Rosetta”. Click on the “Install” button and wait few seconds.

This image provides a visual example of the macOS prompt which asks the user to install Rossetta as mentioned in 2.2.

Step 3: Install driver and allow this to load from Security & Privacy preferences

3.1. Follow the instructions to install your chosen driver.

Provides a visual example of a driver's instructions.

3.2. If you have not enabled “Third-Party KEXTs from Recovery mode” as shown in Step 1, your system will ask to do so from “Security Preferences”. Click on “Open Security Preferences” button if prompted.

If you have done Step 1 and enabled Third-party KEXT, please click on the option to “Open Security Preferences” under the “System Extension Blocked” pop-up and proceed to 3.4.

This image shows the "System Extension Blocked" pop-up and the option to Open Security Preferences mentioned in 3.2.

3.3. In “Security Preferences” window, click on the “Lock” icon and enter a computer administrator’s user name and password to unlock it. Then click on “Enable system extensions…” button. Your system will then ask to reboot your Mac and follow Step 1 to enable Third-party drivers (KEXT) from recovery mode.

This image highlights the lock icon mentioned in 3.3.
This image shows an example username and password that the lock icon requires as mentioned in 3.3.
This image highlights the 'Enable system extensions...' button  mentioned in 3.3.

3.4. Once you have enabled Third-party drivers (KEXT) from recovery mode and have finished the CalDigit driver installation, you will be asked to allow your CalDigit driver to load from “Security & Privacy” section of System Preferences. In this window, click on “Lock” icon and enter a system administrator’s username and password to unlock the computer. Then click on the “Allow” button.

This image highlights the lock icon and the Allow button as mentioned in 3.4.

3.5. Reboot your computer and power cycle your CalDigit device (such as TS3 Plus) to load the driver.

Note 1. If you installed a driver before enabling Third-Party KEXTs from Recovery mode (Step 1), please go through Step 1 before re-installing the driver and allowing said driver to load in “Security Preferences” window.

Note 2. If the driver is still unable to load, please go to the Apple menu -> About this Mac -> “System Reports” -> “Disabled Software” and check if any CalDigit driver is listed there. If so, please re-install the CalDigit driver again and make sure you allow said driver to load in the Security and Privacy preferences window.

This image is an example system report which highlights the "Disabled Software" section and shows that there is no information found.

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