Freedom Troubleshooting for Mac

This article provides in-depth troubleshooting steps for the Mac Freedom app.

Freedom avatar
Written by Freedom
Updated over a week ago

Having issues getting Freedom to work on your Mac? We've created this document to provide some troubleshooting tips to make sure you're able to get Freedom up and running on your computer.


1. Make sure the Freedom app is installed and logged in

First, make sure the Freedom app is installed on your computer and you are logged into the app using your Freedom account email address and password. If you do not have the app installed, you can download it from our Freedom downloads page.

Next, go to and log in. You should see your device listed under My Devices with a green circle next to it. Once you see that, you should be good to go.

If you need help getting Freedom installed and logged in on your computer, we've got detailed instructions: How to install Freedom for Mac.

If Freedom is still not working, you might want to try quitting and restarting the app, or even doing the old faithful computer restart to clear out any bad data.

2. Make sure the app is running in the background

Freedom has to be running on your computer to work. To determine if it's running, look for the butterfly in your menu bar. It will look like this:

If it's not there, try relaunching the Freedom app from your Applications folder. It should then appear and blocks should kick in!

Note: Apple limits the number of icons in the menu bar to 8-15 depending on factors like the device resolution and font size. This can prevent Freedom's icon from showing up even when the app is active.

If you have a lot of pinned apps on your menu bar, please try unpinning some of those, then launch Freedom from your applications folder again and see if the icon appears.

3. Make sure you are running the latest version of the app

You can do this by clicking ‘Check for Updates’ in the Freedom app menu:

4. Make sure your security software isn't blocking Freedom

Over-zealous antivirus software may prevent Freedom from running.

To fix this, you can add Freedom to the allowed list on any security software you're running. A simple Google query will generally return instructions for how to add programs to the "allowed list" for your security software of choice.

5. Check to see if you’re using ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or another tunnel/VPN

Sometimes, VPNs can conflict with Freedom’s proxy and cause blocks not to work. Here are some VPNs you might be running (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • NordVPN

  • ExpressVPN

  • Proton VPN

  • Surfshark

  • TunnelBear

  • CyberGhost

  • Private Internet Access

  • Corporate/Work VPN (Cisco, etc.)

If you would like to run a VPN alongside Freedom but you're having trouble, it should help to run Freedom in non-proxy mode. Find information on how to do that here: Non-Proxy Mode for Mac.

To ensure that Freedom works with your browser-based VPN, you can install our browser extensions.

6. Ensure Freedom is active on the device

If your scheduled sessions don’t seem to be starting automatically on your Mac, please see Ensuring Freedom is active on Mac.

7. Check your session details

From your dashboard, please be sure to confirm the following:

  • Your block session is set to be active right now

  • Your session has the correct device(s) included (Tip: after adding a new device to your account, you also need to include the device on your sessions in order for blocks to take effect).

  • Your session has the correct blocklist(s) included

  • Your blocklist has the correct domains and/or filters included

8. Browser-Specific Troubleshooting

If Freedom doesn't work in Chrome:

If Freedom doesn't work in Chrome, we've found the most common cause is a browser-based VPN, or another extension that reads site data. Common examples of these include discount-finding and couponing extensions.

To test if that's the case, you can try running Chrome in incognito mode (which generally disables all plugins). If Freedom works properly in incognito mode, then we know the issue is due to a Chrome extension. To help us troubleshoot, please open chrome://extensions/ ( instructions here) and send us the list of your enabled Chrome extensions.

Another suggestion is to install our browser extension for Chrome, as this can help solve many issues.

If Freedom doesn't work in Firefox:

If websites are not blocked in Firefox, please make the following configuration change: Open up Firefox Settings, and then go to General -> Network Settings and choose "Use System Proxy Settings." Once these changes are complete, restart Firefox. If Firefox continues to give you trouble, ensure that you're not running a browser-based VPN, and try adding the Firefox browser extension from our downloads page.

If Firefox won't open at all during sessions, this is likely because you are using the Non-Proxy Mode or Website Exceptions features, which are not compatible with this browser currently. For more information, please see Supported Browsers for Website Exceptions and Non-Proxy Mode on Mac.

9. Still having trouble?

If none of the troubleshooting steps above seem to help, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to help!

When you contact us, please include the following in your email to help us assist you:

  • Your Freedom account Email Address

  • A detailed description of the problem you are encountering.

    • Important: Let us know what type of device you're experiencing the problem on.

    • We are best able to help if you include a video demonstrating the problem. You can use the built-in screen recording ability on your device, or a free service like Loom.

  • Any steps you have taken to fix the issue, and how long ago the issue started.

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