The versions of Notebooks available from the Mac App Store and from our website are mostly identical, but due to the Mac App Store requirements there are a few minor differences. Apps sold through the Mac App Store need to adhere to macOS Sandboxing. This mechanism ensures that applications only access documents and folders that the user has explicitly selected. This selection is made when choosing a Notebooks Home.

Symbolic Links

The Mac App Store version Notebooks is not allowed to follow and resolve symbolic links if the link’s target is outside of Notebooks‘ home folder or resides on a different partition. Folders seem empty and Notebooks displays their titles in a lighter color.

If you rely on hard links in Notebooks, we would recommend to download and use the versions available directly from our website.

Webarchives created in Notebooks don’t open in Safari

Another side effect of Sandboxing: certain files created by applications are quarantined by macOS. When you double click to open them in Finder, macOS displays a warning and refuses to open them. – In the case of Notebooks, webarchives may be affected (they are created when you copy some formatted text and then choose New from Pasteboard).

To open these webarchives from Finder, right click on them, choose Open with > Safari, choose Open and enter your password. This removes the quarantine flag from the file, and from now on you can open it as usual.

If you are not afraid of using Terminal, you can use the following command which does not require your password:

xattr -d <path/to/the/file>


While you can install the Mac App Store version of Notebooks an all Macs linked to your Apple ID, you can activate the license purchased directly from us on up to five Macs. When that quota has been used up you need to deactivate Notebooks on one Mac to activate it on another one.

Should you purchase Notebooks from the Mac App Store or from us directly?