Repair “macOS Can not Confirm That This App Is Free From Malware”

Sometimes your Mac won't let you open an app because it can't check that it's malware free. If you know it's safe, here's how to get around it.

Your Mac has many built-in security features to keep you, your device, and your personal data safe. Apple's gatekeeper is just an important layer of protection.

If you've ever tried to launch an application from an unidentified developer, you will see a security warning stating that the app "cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified". Another message stating that macOS cannot verify that this app is malware free accompanies the first one.

Alerts are important, but sometimes blocked software can still be safely opened. Let's discuss how to bypass Apple's ever-vigilant gatekeeper.

Is it safe to open an app that macOS can't verify?

If developers want their products to work well with Gatekeeper, they must submit the software to Apple for notarization. After submission, applications and other relevant components go through an automated review process. The aim is to ensure that the software is free of malware and other suspicious codes.

Related: What Is Gatekeeper and How Does It Protect My Mac?

Apps that pass the authentication process are generally safe to open and do not attract gatekeepers' attention. However, not all credible developers submit their software to Apple for testing, which means that innocent applications often get trapped in the macOS safety net.

When you encounter a gatekeeper warning, there is one important question you should ask yourself: do you know if the application is safe to open?

This is how you can tell if an application downloaded by an unverified developer is safe

It is difficult to know if software is really safe to open, but you can use several steps to reach a conclusion. The key to trust is research. You should:

  • Check that the app is from a reliable source

  • Research the developer's history

  • Make sure the software is known and trusted

  • Research any issues that have been reported about the product

Related: Do I Need Antivirus on My Mac? Here is the answer

While it's not a foolproof way of determining an app's security, research can help you make an informed decision. If the software sounds too sketchy for your taste, consider deleting the application and moving on.

How to Fix an App "Cannot Open Because Developer Can't Be Verified"

When it comes to bypassing security, you have several options. Often times, the quickest, easiest way to launch an app from an unknown developer is to use the Ctrl-click Method. This is how it works:

  1. Ctrl-click the application you want to start.
  2. Choose Open minded from the menu.

  3. click Open minded again on the security warning box.

That's it. In most cases, this method will get you past gatekeepers with minimal effort. If you prefer the detour, you can allow the blocked application from yours safety Preferences. Here's how:

  1. Navigate to System Settings> Security & Privacy.

  2. Press the Generally Tab.

  3. Check the security warning below Allow from downloaded apps.

  4. Unlock the safety lock.

  5. click Open minded Nevertheless.

  6. click Open minded when prompted with another security warning.

from safety, you can also change your gatekeeper settings to either allow apps created by the Appstore or from the App Store and identified developers.

If you think macOS is being overly cautious, you can use a Terminal command to disable Gatekeeper, but we don't recommend doing so without good reason. In most cases, the standard bypass methods should be enough to launch an unidentified app unless Apple has identified software as truly malicious.

Security is important in macOS

Gatekeeper is one of the more visible lines of malware defense that comes with macOS. Even if you choose the most generous settings, a warning box will still prevent you from opening software that hasn't passed Apple's rigorous testing process. However, you can get around the bouncer easily enough with the right steps.

Security is important, but at times certain macOS features can seem a little overprotective. Before making potentially risky decisions, make sure that the software you are trying to open is safe. If the app looks clean, you can politely ask gatekeepers to step aside.

5 important security features of your Mac

Ever wondered what your Mac is doing to keep your data safe? Here are the main macOS built-in security features that you should use to protect your system.

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About the author

Matt Moore
(32 published articles)

Matt is an Australian freelance writer with a degree in creative and critical writing. Before his studies, he worked in technical support and gained valuable insights into the technology and its users. His real passion is storytelling and he hopes to one day write a well-published novel.

By Matt Moore

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