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Mac cannot be opened because it is from an unidentified developer
If an app on your Mac cannot be opened because it is from an unidentified developer, this means that your macOS doesn’t recognize or trust the app’s developer. Fortunately, it’s possible to circumvent the “Cannot be opened because it is from an unidentified developer” warning.
Before we give show you the way you can still open an app from an unidentified developer, we must first warn you that this may not always be a good idea. Though at times, the restrictive, closed-platform policy of Apple operating systems (such as macOS) may seem excessive, it’s also one of the main reasons why Apple products are much less likely to get infected by viruses or malware. This restrictiveness is, first and foremost, there to protect you and your devices, so most of the time, there’s a good reason why your Mac doesn’t let you open a certain app. That said, it’s not uncommon for macOS to prevent a user from opening a given app that is perfectly safe and has nothing wrong with it. As mentioned, this is what happens when the application’s developer isn’t in the list of developers that Apple recognizes and trusts. There are certain hoops that third-party developers need to jump through before Apple’s macOS would start to regard them as “identified” and, in turn, trusted developers. However, not everyone is willing to jump through those hoops, even if the developer’s software is legitimate, which could lead to situations such as this one.
The important takeaway here is that it is perfectly possible for a given app to be safe and legitimate, even if macOS doesn’t recognize or trust its developer, but you need to be absolutely certain that the app is indeed harmless before you choose to override the built-in macOS security restrictions and open the app in question. With that out of the way, we will now show you how you can open apps that trigger the “Unidentified developer” warning.
Unidentified developer Mac fix
The Unidentified developer Mac fix is to go to the Privacy & Security and click the Open Anyway option. To get the Open Anyway option and circumvent the Unidentified developer warning, you must have tried to open the app in question within the past hour.
Your macOS will only grant you the option to open a specific app from an unidentified developer if you’ve already tried to open that app normally and have received the “Unidentified developer” warning. Here are the exact steps to circumvent that warning:
- Try to open the app in question and close the warning when it shows up.
- Click the Apple logo menu in the menu bar, and go to System Preferences > Security and Privacy > the General tab.
- There, you should see an option labeled Open Anyway in the Allow apps downloaded from the section. That option will typically be grayed out, so you must first click the Padlock icon and provide your Admin password to unlock the option.
- Next, click the Open Anyway button and the app will open. This will also add the app to a list of exceptions, so that you’d now be able to open it normally, without getting the warning again.
Opening apps from outside the App Store
Depending on your Mac’s Security and Privacy settings, it’s possible that your macOS would only allow you to open apps downloaded from the App Store and prevent you to open any third-party apps, even ones from identified developers. If the warning you are getting when trying to open an app is that it is not from the App Store rather than that it’s not from an identified developer, then here’s what you can do to allow third-party apps from identified developers to be normally opened on your Mac:
- Open the Apple logo menu, and click System Preferences.
- Go to System & Security, and open the General tab.
- If the options in the Allow apps downloaded from section are locked, click the Padlock icon and provide your password to unlock them.
- Then check the App Store and identified developers option, and you will now be able to normally install and open third-party apps from identified developers (you will still get a warning, but there will be an option to open the app anyway).