Solving a minor OS X Firewall annoyance

For some time now Keynote has been prompting me to decide whether to allow or deny incoming connections.  This prompt is courtesy of the Mac’s Application Firewall, which wants to make sure I allow incoming traffic from the internet only to those apps which require it.  What is supposed to happen is you have to answer this question once to establish your policy for a given app and then the Firewall implements the policy going forward and you don’t get asked again.  But with Keynote I get asked every time.

I found some relevant discussions on Apple’s support site, but they applied to an earlier version of the Firewall so I couldn’t really implement them.  I tried various settings on the Firewall.  Tried deleting Keynote from the list of approved applications.  Tried adding Keynote manually.  Tried blocking connections to Keynote.  Nothing seemed to work in that I kept getting those pesky prompts.

I ran the Console app (which monitors various system messages on the Mac) and observed that Keynote was reported as listening for incoming traffic.  And when I went to Keynote’s preferences I was reminded of why Keynote is asking the system to let it listen for incoming connections:  I had enabled the option to use my iPhone as a remote control for Keynote.  Now, as it turns out, I don’t actually use that feature.  I find that I like the ritual of walking over to the laptop during the talk to click the advance button.  It keeps me moving.  It suits my style.

So I disabled the feature in the Keynote settings and now (it seems) the Firewall prompts have gone away.

So problem solved, after a fashion.

I would rather understand and resolve the underlying issue with the Firewall but I really don’t have time to dig into that right now and if it turns out that turning off a feature I don’t use solves the problem, then I’ll consider that good enough.

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