Error: Viscosity Helper Tool Disabled
When opening Viscosity for the first time on macOS 13 (Ventura), you may be informed that Viscosity has installed a new background login item. This message is referring to Viscosity's "helper tool", which is necessary for Viscosity to be able to run. If Viscosity's helper tool is disabled, Viscosity will not be able to start.
Helper tools were introduced in an older version of macOS and are separate processes that run with special permissions for security. Viscosity uses a helper tool to allow VPN network interfaces to be created and removed.
Sadly, the wording macOS 13 uses makes it seem like Viscosity's helper tool starts at login and runs in the background the entire time. This is not the case. It runs while Viscosity is running. It starts whenever Viscosity is opened, and when you quit Viscosity the helper tool will also automatically exit after a minute or two.
macOS 13 introduces a new "Allow in the Background" setting under "Login Items". Along with controlling actual services that run in the background from login, helper tools will also be listed under this setting. Viscosity's helper tool will be listed under "Viscosity" when using version 1.10.4 or later. If you're using an older version of Viscosity, the helper tool may instead be listed as "SparkLabs Pty Ltd" (our company name).
If Viscosity indicates that the "Viscosity Helper Tool Disabled", it means this setting has been disabled for Viscosity's helper tool. To use Viscosity, you will need to re-enable the helper tool. You can access this setting by going to the Apple menu, choosing System Settings, click General, click Login Items, and then look under the "Allow in the Background" heading.