How To Install PROCESS Macro In SPSS [PC and Mac]

In this quick guide, we will learn how to install PROCESS macro in SPSS on Windows or macOS operating systems.

PROCESS is an incredibly useful statistical tool for logistic regression path analysis modeling analysis, developed by Andrew F. Hayes, Ph.D., and available for SPSS, SAS, and R. That being said, the PROCESS macro grately simplifies the mediation, and moderation analysis in SPSS to just a few simple clicks, and provides a great number of regression analysis features.

PROCESS is 100% free, though, in order to use it to its max potential, especially for more complex models, I would advise you to get your hands on the Introduction to Mediation, Moderation, and Conditional Process Analysis book. 

Learning Outcomes

PROCESS macro installation in SPSS takes a few minutes and is pretty straightforward. Here are the essential steps you need to take to get PROCESS installed in SPSS on both Windows and macOS systems:

  1. Download PROCESS from
  2. Unzip the downloaded PROCESS .zip installation file
  3. macOS only: Grant access to file system for SPSS (for OSX versions higher than Catalina)
  4. Install the PROCESS extension in SPSS
  5. Launch PROCESS macro in SPSS
  6. Quick how to use PROCESS macro in SPSS

Without further ado, let’s get started.

How To Install Process Macro in SPSS [PC]

To install PROCESS on Windows, you should have SPSS already up and running on your computer. 

  1. Open a browser and head over to the official Process download page.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the Download PROCESS button.
Download PROCESS macro. Source:
Download PROCESS macro
  1. Once the download is completed, double-click on the .zip file to open the archive. The .zip file contains a few directors with files used for PROCESS installation on R, SAS, and SPSS among other informational files. In this guide we will focus on the PROCESS for SPSS directory only.
Extract PROCESS macro. Source:
Extract PROCESS macro
  1. With your mouse, select and drag-and-drop the PROCESS v.x for SPSS directory into a preferred location on your disk. I recommend you to choose a location where you won’t accidentally remove the PROCESS directory in future (e.g., Desktop, Documents, etc.).
  1. Launch SPSS Statistics on Windows.
  2. On SPSS top menu, navigate to Extensions → Utilities and select Install Custom Dialogue (Compatibility mode)
Install Custom Dialog in SPSS. Source:
Install Custom Dialog in SPSS
  1. On the Open a Dialog Specification window, navigate to the PROCESS for SPSS directory you extracted earlier on your computer. 

In the PROCESS for SPSS folder, open the Custom dialog builder folder, and select the process.spd file. Click the Open button to start the installation.

Install PROCESS on SPSS PC. Source:
Install PROCESS macro on SPSS Windows
  1. At this point, PROCESS is installed on SPSS. Click the OK button to close the installation dialogue window.
PROCESS macro installation dialogue. Source:
PROCESS macro installation dialogue

9. To launch PROCESS in SPSS, go to Analyze → Regression. On the Regression menu, you should have a new entry called PROCESS v.x.x by Andrew F. Hayes. Click on it. 

Launch PROCESS macro in SPSS. Source:
Launch PROCESS macro in SPSS

To launch PROCESS, you should have your data set already opened in SPSS otherwise PROCESS will prompt you to load a data file.

If everything is good, you should be welcomed by the PROCESS window as seen in the capture below.

PROCESS macro in SPSS interface. Source:
PROCESS macro in SPSS interface

That’s it. You just learned how to install Process Macro in SPSS on your PC.

How To Install PROCESS Macro in SPSS [MAC]

Installing PROCESS on a Mac computer is every bit similar to the installation of PROCESS on a Windows computer. You can follow the steps (1-9) above. For your convenience, here is are the steps to install PROCESS macro in SPSS on macOS.

  1. Open your browser and navigate to the PROCESS download page. Scroll to the bottom of the page and push the Download PROCESS button.
  2. Once the download completed, double click on the .zip file and copy the PROCESS for SPSS folder to a safe location on your computer.
  3. Launch SPSS
  4. Navigate to Extensions → Utilities → Install Custom Dialog (Compatibility mode).
  5. In the Open a Dialog Specification window, navigate to the location you extracted the PROCESS for SPSS folder earlier (step 2).
  6. Open the Custom dialog builder folder and select the process.spd file. 

If you can’t see any files here, you most likely use a version of macOS Catalina or higher. Therefore an extra step is required to allow SPSS to access your Mac file system. Let’s fix this issue.

  1. On you Mac, click on the Apple logo (top left corner) and select System Preferences
  2. On the System Preferences window, click on the Security & Privacy icon.
System Preferences on macOS. Source:
System Preference on macOS
  1. Select the Privacy tab, and on the left side scroll down and select the Full Disk Access icon.
System Preferences Privacy window on macOS. Source:
System Preferences Privacy window on macOS
  1. Click on the lock icon on the bottom left and type your password when prompted to unlock the privacy options for Full Disk Access.
  2. Click on the + sign to launch a Finder window.
Allowed applications macOS. Source:
Allowed applications macOS
  1. Press the Command+Shift+G keys on your keyboard to open Go to Folder dialogue window. Type /bin and double-click on the bin folder once displayed. 
Go to Folder macOS. Source:
Go to Folder macOS
  1. Search for a file called sh, select it than press the Open button. The sh file should be now added to the allowed applications access list.
Fix SPSS file access issue on SPSS macOS. Source:
Fix SPSS file access issue on SPSS macOS
  1. Click on the lock icon to prevent further changes and close the Security & Privacy window.
  2. Close and reopen SPSS on your computer.
  3. Navigate to Extensions → Utilities → Install Custom Dialog (Compatibility mode). in the PROCESS for SPSS → Custom Dialog Builderfolder, select the process.spd file.
Install PROCESS on SPSS macOS. Source:
Install PROCESS on SPSS macOS
  1. Voila! PROCESS is now installed on SPSS on your macOS Catalina, Big Sur, Monterey or higher. Cick OK to close this dialogue window.
PROCESS on SPSS macOS dialogue window. Source:
PROCESS SPSS installation dialogue window
  1. Lauch PROCESS on SPSS by navigating at Analyze → Regression menu in SPSS and selecting PROCESS vx.y by Andrew F. Hayes.

You will need to have a data set already loaded in SPSS for PROCESS macro to start.

Launch PROCESS macro on SPSS macOS. Source:
Launch PROCESS macro on SPSS macOS

Quick Tour to PROCESS Macro GUI

Now that PROCESS is installed successfully on our Windows and macOS computers, let’s have a quick look at the PROCESS interface.

PROCESS macro GUI quick overview. Source:
PROCESS macro GUI – a quick overview
  1. The Variables box shows all the variables that are present in your data set. This is very similar to any other SPSS window.
  2. There are a large number of Models available depending on your use case. For instance, PROCESS version 4.0 has 92 Models available. Model 1 is the default model and useful for most cases. If you want to use PROCESS with a complex model, you can find details in Andrew Hayes’ Introduction to Mediation, Moderation, and Conditional Process Analysis book.
  3. Y variable represents the Dependent Variable in your study. 
  4. X variable represents the Independent Variable in your study.
  5. Here you can add one or multiple Mediators for your model.
  6. Here you can add one or more Covariate (continuous/extraneous) variables for your model.
  7. Add a first Moderator variable (W) for your model.
  8. Add a scond Moderator variable (Z) for your study.
  9. The Options window can take your analysis one big step further with options such as: display covariance matrix or regression coefficients, show interactions, indirect and total effects, residual correlations, and much more. 

A great PROCESS macro feature is that you can mean center your variables (construct products) with a simple click without having to calculate them separately in SPSS. If you ever did a moderator analysis in SPSS you know what I mean.

Feel free to explore the PROCESS macro statistical tool and don’t forget to give credit to the author for giving us such an amazing analysis tool for free!

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