Mac Users: Running Geneious/Geneious Prime on macOS 10.15 Catalina and higher

Due to stricter security controls and the end of support for 32-bit applications, you may encounter various issues when running older versions of Geneious/Geneious Prime on macOS 10.15 Catalina or higher operating systems.

If you are using an older version of Geneious on a Mac, we recommend upgrading or patching Geneious as soon as possible by following the instructions for your version below. You can do this before you upgrade your OS if you are running macOS 10.12 Sierra or later.  

How to fix Geneious Prime 2019 

Use Help - Check for Updates in Geneious Prime to update to the latest patch (2019.2.3 or above). Alternatively you can download the latest version from the Geneious Prime download page on our website.  This addresses all known serious issues on Catalina.

Note that some features have been removed from Geneious to facilitate this. Specifically, ClustalW alignment and the Garli tree builder are no longer available.

How to fix Geneious R11, R10 and R9

Geneious R9-R11 are not supported on MacOS Catalina or higher operating systems.  However, installing the patch below may fix the licensing service on these versions running on MacOS Catalina. This will allow a personal license to be activated, but does not address any other issues associated with Catalina or Big Sur.

Download Geneious R9-R11 Catalina Licensing Fix

Note that users running Geneious R9-R11 on Big Sur 11.4 or later may also encounter an additional error "Geneious is damaged and can't be opened".  This is due to later versions of Big Sur no longer recognising the app signature for old versions of Geneious and cannot be fixed by applying the licensing patch.  


Older Geneious Versions

As previously announced, Geneious R8 and earlier are not supported on any recent mac operating systems.  


Known Issues

The following issues are known to affect unpatched versions of Geneious/Geneious Prime when running on Catalina. Most are fixed by upgrading to the latest version of Geneious Prime, only licensing is fixed by the Catalina Licensing Patch for R11, R10 and R9.


A warning message is displayed stating that "FNPLicensingService" will damage your computer and Geneious remains restricted after starting up with, or activating, a personal or trial license. Don't worry, it won't damage your computer. This message is shown because macOS incorrectly identifies the FLEXnet licensing component provided with Geneious as being malicious, due to incorrect signing of the licensing code.


You may also see various other licensing related messages such "Something is wrong with your FLEXnet install" or "Your license has expired". These are side effects of the same issue.

This signing issue can be fixed by upgrading to 2019.2.3+, or for R11, R10 and R9, by installing the Catalina Licensing Patch, which provides a correctly signed version of the licensing code.


ClustalW fails to run with the error message below. ClustalW has been removed from 2019.2.3+.

com.biomatters.plugins.clustal.ExecutionFailedException: Error invoking ClustalW: Cannot run program "/Users/richard/Desktop/Geneious Prime" (in directory "/Users/richard/Geneious 2019.2 Data/temp/geneious-11clustal"): error=86, Bad CPU type in executable

DNA Fold and RNA Fold viewer

These viewers get stuck during loading and display the message "Computing fold - please wait" perpetually. This issue is only fixed in 2019.2.3+.

Command Line Executables Downloaded outside of Geneious

Tools such as phobos, cap3 and paup* which can be downloaded outside of Geneious will not work until some additional steps are followed. This issue is not addressed by updating Geneious.

Contact Us / Support Button

After submitting with the option to include a screenshot selected, a message is displayed that says "Geneious Prime" would like to record this computer's screen. It is not necessary to give Geneious permission to do this in order to send a screenshot which only includes the Geneious window. If you would like to include a full screenshot in future submissions then you will need to click Open System Preferences and allow Geneious to record your screen.

Permission to Display Notifications

Although Geneious never displays notifications, a message is displayed asking for permission to do so. Your choice between Allow/Disallow does not affect the functionality of Geneious.

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