How to Fix VirtualBox’s “Kernel Driver Not Installed (rc=-1908)” Error on a Mac

VirtualBox logo

VirtualBox is one of the most popular freeware virtual machines (VM) for macOS alongside paid applications like Parallels or VMware. Whether you’re testing code, comparing browsers, or just experimenting, this common error is easy to fix.

If you receive this error, you have probably already tried to install VirtualBox on the latest version of macOS. During the installation or during the configuration of your first virtual machine, you may encounter this error message:

Kernel driver error not installed (rc = -1908)

Whether you are trying to configure a Windows, Linux or Mac virtual machine, the error appears because it is the first time that your Mac has installed Oracle products (such as VirtualBox). You will need to give the software explicit permission to access the computer. Unfortunately, you have to go get the prompt.

First, go to System Preferences by clicking on the Apple icon in the top menu bar, then selecting the “System Preferences” button. From there, click on the “Security and Confidentiality” option.

System Preferences

Under the “General” tab, there should be text at the bottom that says, “Developer’s system software” Oracle America, Inc. “was blocked while loading.” Click on the “Authorize” button.

Security and privacy window

Note: This option is only available for approximately 30 minutes after a new installation of VirtualBox. If this message does not appear, uninstall VirtualBox by opening your “Applications” folder and then dragging the VirtualBox application to the trash. Delete any remaining files, reinstall a new copy of VirtualBox, and immediately open the Security and Privacy menu to see this option.

The installation will now complete successfully. Congratulations on your new functional installation of VirtualBox!

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