Using an AUSKEY in OSX

If you work in accounting, or if you have a small business it is likely that you’ve had to use an AUSKEY for authenticating with the ATO.

You’ve probably also noticed that  it is not the most reliable thing to use – this blog will cover off some of the things to be aware of to get it working on a Mac.

The first thing to be aware of is that Chrome in OSX no longer supports Java, so you can’t use the Chrome Browser with to access the ATO portals any more. You can however use Safari or Firefox.

In my testing I’ve always used Safari and will be covering off what to be aware of for Safari.

  1. Make sure you’ve installed your AUSKEY or transferred it from another computer. By default AUSKEY is stored in the following location: /Users/yourusername/Library/Application Support/AUSKey – and in this folder you will generally have a keystore.xml file. This is the file you need for authenticating. If you are moving the AUSKey from another computer make sure you put it into this folder. If you install it via the ATO provided links it will install here by default.  To access the folder open finder and press Comand + Shift + G then type in the path listed above.
  2. Make sure you’ve downloaded and installed the latest version of java from
  3. Once you’ve downloaded try and access one of the portals such as – more than likely you’ll get a message saying that AUSKey is not installed. Most of the time this is due to the Java plugin not running. As of OSX Sierra Java is disabled by default in Safari. To turn it back on Go to Safari Preferences > Plugin Settings > Java then turn on the plugin for the ATO sites. SPECIAL Note: You need to hold down alt on your keyboard then press the menu and select “Run in Unsafe Mode” – in the picture below I’ve already done it and you will see it the menu now says “Run in Safe Mode” that is what you want yours to look like as well. Simply turning the plugin to “On” is not enough for it to work.



4. If you receive the error below when you try to login it means that you have not enabled                     unsafe mode. Go back to Step 3 and make sure you enable it


That is all you should need to do, now if you go and try to access the ATO portal you should be able to login as you normally would.

We have found that quite often after a java update the AUSKey system fails to work. Most times it is due to the plugin no longer being enabled. One of the easiest ways to re-enable it is go to and click the verify Java button. This will then prompt you to enable the plugin again. Once you have done that you should be able to access the portals as you normally would again.

The instructions above really apply to OSX Sierra but you will find it is a similar process for all versions of Mac OSX.

3 Replies to “Using an AUSKEY in OSX”

  1. Thanks for this, I tried for ages with different browsers tweaking them all but nothing worked until I checked my auskey folder on mac and found no keystore file. Luckily i managed to restore it from a old time machine backup and everything is working perfectly now.

    1. Glad it was helpful! Took me quite some time to figure it out and it seems every Java release or every new OSX version it breaks again. Hopefully its on the ATO’s digital roadmap to change the way it works.

  2. Beau Gaudron thanks ever so much for posting this originally. The closer I looked at your instructions the easier it got. Installing AusKey on my Mac saved me from having to lug my PC around just to access the ATO site

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