Audio Plugins Not Working in GarageBand on macOS 10.13 High Sierra? Here's A Fix

For those of you using 3rd-party audio unit plugins in GarageBand on macOS 10.13 High Sierra there's a big problem: your plugins won't load. But, here's a solution to unlock your effects and synths!  

So, you downloaded and installed the new macOS 10.13 High Sierra after checking that most/all of your audio software and plugins are now compatible... and then discover that Apple's own DAW, GarageBand, can't load any of your 3rd-party plugins.

If you've come across the warning stating: "The Audio Unit "XXX" could not be loaded for your project, and may need to be updated..." then before you throw anything at your Mac's computer screen, breathe and read on to discover a temporary solution that'll help you get around this security/sandboxing issue.

We're sure Apple will provide an update in the near future, so an upcoming macOS or GarageBand update might well be the best solution. And if you use Logic Pro X or any other DAW your plugins should load absolutely fine there. This is just a GarageBand and macOS High Sierra issue. If you're experiencing this issue like many others in the Apple Discussions forum here then you can try this trick courtesey of Two notes Engineering:

  • Download & install Two Notes Sandbox Patch plugin
  • Reboot your Mac
  • Open GarageBand
  • Add Two Notes Sandbox Patch plugin on a track, a popup will appear
Sandbox popup
  • Click "Lower Security Settings"
  • This screen will appear:
macOS High Sierra plugin solution
  • Now load your AU plugins in GarageBand on macOS 10.13 High Sierra

Our support manager at Ask.Audio, Christian Labbé, tested the above on macOS High Sierra with GarageBand and noted it works perfectly, but you will need to carry out this process every time you launch GarageBand.

But at least this is a band-aid fix over a security issue that looks like it should be very easy for Apple to solve in a coming update.

[Via: Two-Notes Engineering]

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Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & macProVideo. He's built a crack team of professional musicians and writers to create one of the most visited online resources for news, review, tutorials and interviews for modern musician and producer. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic Pro Rounik has taught teachers, professional... Read More


Mr BubbaHyde
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this fix.......

I have my whole life and work on hold until this article was found, I only hope others find it!!!
Theuns Kruger
Sadly, the issue in NOT limited to GarageBand. It is also affecting Logic Pro X. I don't know whether it is significant but even though my Audio Units stopped working in Logic Pro X and GarageBand 10.2 (both 64-bit apps), for some reason they DO work in the old 32-bit GarageBand 6.0.5! I have both copies of GarageBand on the same MacBook Pro running macOS 10.13 High Sierra.
HELP. This doesn't work for INSTRUMENTS. Only FX. I still can't get to my Reaktor/Kontact/etc via the Instrument Plugin slot
Seems to be fixed in High Sierra 10.13.2 (17C88) / GB 10.2.0 (4769.13) - at least projects that used to be causing problems are now ok.
I have the exact same problem...Does anyone know if I purchase the upgrade to Autotune pro for $150 would fix the problem?

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