62 responses

  1. drrjv
    September 27, 2016

    You can also do the same by clicking control-click ‘open’

    • junebeetle
      September 27, 2016

      Yep, this is super useful. Control-click the app > Open. Click Open on the dialog that appears.

      I spent a couple years dragging SketchyApp.app/Contents/MacOS/SketchyExecutable into Terminal before I figured this one out.

    • Dan
      September 28, 2016

      And that’s a far better option. Having to specifically allow unidentified apps is much safer than a open door.

      • Chris Giordano
        September 28, 2016

        I totally agree. This would and should be the preferred method for any proper Mac admin. Unlocking Gatekeeper completely should almost NEVER happen, especially in an enterprise environment. It’s even a risk recommending this to standard consumers as they really have no idea what they are doing and what the repercussions are by completely unlocking it. Chances are they won’t ever take the time to go back and lock it back down.

    • HJ
      September 30, 2016

      I’ve performed the disable command but still get the “can’t be opened” message. Even if I control click. Any suggestions?

    • Joseph B.
      October 29, 2016

      Thank you so much! It works! I thought I was done for and I would of had to delete most of my apps!

    • Michael
      December 28, 2016

      thx alot
      really help

    • Michael Kulyk
      February 13, 2017

      thx very much !

    • iyohmamma
      February 24, 2017

      Yes, saw this method on other and did not work…..YOU INFORMED ME TO CLOSE “System Preferences” first. Great works. Thanks.

    • Narain S.
      March 22, 2017

      O Yes.. It did! Perfect.. Thanks!

    • Mona
      September 18, 2017

      Very helpful and easy tip.

    • Keith
      April 15, 2018

      It won’t let me enter my password

  2. Stephen Strum
    September 27, 2016

    My opinion as someone that used PCs for 20 years and then became a devout Mac user is that this is a bunch of hogwash i.e. that Apple should think that only apps that it supplies or those obtained from the App Store should pass muster, and that only advanced users with magical skills should deviate from this activity →

    “This is not recommended for most Mac users, only advanced Mac users and developers who have the ability to accurately gauge app validity should use this method.”

    I have been purchasing or obtaining non-approved apps since day 1 of my converting to Mac computers.

    So those of us using PathFinder instead of the anemic Finder, or Moon, or other so-called “3rd party apps” that make the use of Apple computers better for a lot of us either have to be fortunate enough to find such apps in the App Store. For years, I have used NeoOffice and paid a minor donation to the developer. Now, NeoOffice made it into the “holy place” in the App Store and the same software is $39 dollars. Here’s what would have been nice for Apple to have done instead:

    An option in downloading apps (other than that which Tim Cook et al feel we users can handle) should be one of the options found without having to use a Terminal command. And if there are apps that are identified as malware or spam, then it would be nice if Apple or some other company could notify users rather than make a generalization that there are bad apps out there. I have intensely used my iMac over the last 11 years and have never run into a problem with the many 3rd party apps that I have purchased or obtained for free. And how many of those in the App Store were “outcasts” for years before being granted sanctuary? Give me a break.

    If Apple would stop spewing out new OS and improve key functions of the current OS, it would make many of us Mac users a lot happier and more effective, and then maybe a lot of the “other” apps I buy would not be necessary. A good example in my case is that the upgrade to Sierra will not allow me to run a very important medical program called EndNote. Endnote is a Thomsen Reuters app that has been around for decades & of course is not in the App Store.

    I miss Steve Jobs. Apple has lost its pizzazz and vision.

    • Peter
      September 28, 2016

      The whole point is Apple is trying to get devs to sign their apps, they don’t have to be from appstore. Right now devs are just to lazy to register as an Apple dev and sign their apps.

      This is a good thing not bad, just seems bad as devs are not doing what they should be doing.

      • Sebby
        September 29, 2016

        Mmm, and Apple just happens to get a recurring payment of £99/year for the privilege. A complete coincidence, of course. :)

        Come on. Yes, this security “feature” has a user-facing benefit, and I’d leave it on just to get the warm fuzzy I do from “the legitimacy factor” of Apple’s signature. I also think outright disabling the feature isn’t necessary. But as with so many things Apple, priority #1 is Apple, and #2 is the user–increasingly, it seems to me, a very distant second. The reality is that a well-designed interface (like the one that existed before Mountain Lion, in fact) is already perfectly good at warning users off from accidental invocations of rogue software, and (although it can be hard to believe sometimes) not everybody needs their hands held for them. More importantly, many devs don’t need the hassle of paying Apple’s tax (think Open Source stuff) and, if the option didn’t exist for users to run their software, they probably wouldn’t port to the Mac at all.

        I just hope it doesn’t get to the stage where unsigned apps aren’t allowed at all. That would (will?) be a sad day.

  3. Clam
    September 27, 2016

    Did something change in Sierra compared to El Capitan that prevents or removes the functionality of ‘Ctrl+Click > “Open” menu item’ to selectively bypass Gatekeeper when “App store and identified developers” is selected in the preferences? If not, then changing the preferences to “Anywhere” is a bad idea and you really shouldn’t do it, no matter how cool it is to fiddle with the system settings and make an option appear that most people don’t have access to.

    More info about these options:

    • tobin
      September 28, 2016

      Yes in Mac OS you can still right click / control click to Open and circumvent Gatekeeper, but for unidentified apps.

      • dialoguy
        May 9, 2017

        Running Sierra 10.12.5 Beta. Can’t open an app by right-clicking/”Open” nor by getting the gatekeeper out of the way…

  4. John R
    September 28, 2016

    Heck, yeah, man. Open up your Mac to anything that wants to install. Go for it, the sky is the limit. The PC world is yours for the taking.

  5. Ted
    September 28, 2016

    It’s been about a week without any Mac OS or iOS updates. I’m feeling unloved Apple. Are you guys asleep or what.


  6. Joe
    September 29, 2016

    First “App Nap” and now forcing the extra $99 a year from developers. I don’t like the dictatorship that Apple is doing with OS X. I’ll be the judge when my apps should stop functioning and why confuse your average user on why some apps will not run? Sandboxing should solve most issues from misbehaving apps/developers. Apple is getting annoying and over thinking some of the simplest things.

    • Gareth
      July 21, 2017

      Let’s face it, Apples ethos with OSX is turning into Microsoft’s ethos for Windows by filling it with bloatware and making its performance worse. Each upgrade slows down the machine start up and we are now seeing the the spinning Windows disc as often as we used to see the egg timer on Windows. Apple are just getting greedy having grabbed so many niches in the market. Just revisit what happened to Blackberry, Nokia and almost to Microsoft and try to stop pissing off your customers.

  7. Morgan
    September 30, 2016

    Apple has gone overboard trying to “nanny” its users. It is a vicious world out there, but the fact is that the number of truly malicious apps is small. Outright banning the ability to run apps that aren’t signed is a bit like the government stepping in and banning anyone from eating fruit that’s not organic… (unless they ctrl-alt-click the non organic banana in just the right place, to indicate their acceptance that the suspect yellow fruit might cause their head to explode upon consumption.)
    Apple… I have found myself desiring to get away from your nannyish self, seriously, for the first time in 20+ years of use (i.e. NeXT then OS X). If the alternatives weren’t so awful, I’d already be gone.

  8. Gert
    October 1, 2016

    Actually I hate it that Apple takes away choices the users previously had. Apple took away the acces to the Library to prevent that some stupid people make mistakes. That was easy to pass by, but still Apple is trying to take our freedom without explaining and without giving different options.
    I just want to keep my personal choice. I seldom pass the safety preferences of apple, only so once in a while, and I restore the default settings immediately there after. Step by step Apple is taking over as a advanced Big Brother that knows best, instead of educating people. It’s almost like religion. The pastor knows what’s best for you.

    I have not installed the new system just because of this.

    By the way, is the command line option just to restore the “Anywhere” button, so I can act like before? and restore full safety when returning to the other two buttons? or is restoring the “Anywhere” button include a limited safety to the other two buttons?

  9. Carl Smith
    October 3, 2016

    It’s all about turning OS X into iOS. Apple make much more money charging huge premuims on phones and mobile apps than selling laptops to developers, and clearly thinks increasing margins is more important than market share. Basically, install Linux.

  10. Tyler Arndt
    October 4, 2016

    Have a couple programs for work that would no longer work after I updated my OS. This was an easy fix!


  11. Stanley Gorczynski
    November 9, 2016

    I’ve had trouble launching a legit outside app and the company’s troubleshooting guide said to delete it and reload and launch but now I cannot install it using either method (Contol click in Apps or Anyway in Sys Pref). It gives me the option to install it anyway but when I hit ok i get this msg. osstatus error -67071

    Pls help

  12. Stanley Gorczynski
    November 9, 2016

    Couldn’t you just click the Anywhere option to launch a particular as before and then return and select the App Store and Developers option??? As before???

  13. veronica
    November 15, 2016

    can I just select back the identified developers option or does it somehow defaults back to the “anywhere” if I don’t change it?

    • veronica
      November 15, 2016

      ok apparently it doesn’t matter because the option “anywhere” went away just by changing the selection to identified developers and closing the system preferences

  14. MArtin
    December 8, 2016

    Thank you so much for this one, and no, the Control-Click – Open thing does not work anymore on macOS Sierra

  15. Remy
    December 28, 2016


    I followed all the step but the “anywhere” doesn’t appear. I’m on MacBook Air if that can help. If there is still someone here a little help would be really great.

    Thanks in advance,

  16. Nilesh Parmar
    December 30, 2016

    Genius, thank you.

  17. Gumonx
    January 1, 2017

    it works! thanks a lot! I where having trouble to install folx. Just a Quick question, can we just leave this to have the “anywhere” option or is mandatory to re do the: sudo spctl –master-enable on terminal?

  18. Samantha Atkins
    January 7, 2017

    This is nice to know but I am not happy. Developers either pay Apple a tax to sign apps or worse, put up with all the app store restrictions and pay 30% of sales OR they are locked out of serving the needs of most would be customers.

    The average customer is not going to even go see that they can allow your app to run, much less do something on the command line.

    This is not about security. This is about Apple exerting as much control and extracting as much money as possible. Please stop excusing it as about security. Security is not that hard without such restriction.

  19. BRIAN
    February 17, 2017

    why am i getting this when i type the command in?

    We trust you have received the usual lecture from the local System
    Administrator. It usually boils down to these three things:

    #1) Respect the privacy of others.
    #2) Think before you type.
    #3) With great power comes great responsibility.

    Sorry, try again.

  20. Karolis
    February 18, 2017

    You are genius. Thank you

  21. Samuel
    March 25, 2017

    Thank you !! Big amount of useless topics but this one is finally solution. Thanks !!

  22. Matthew
    March 28, 2017

    Thanks for this! I have a question though… Initially, by mistake, I entered the following into the terminal:

    sudo spctl

    And nothing else! A load of type came up. I am not at all conversant with these things, I wonder, has entering this alone caused any problems for my Mac? Any guidance on this is much appreciated!

  23. irina
    April 1, 2017

    Hi, guys!
    I tries every step described above but is not working. after Im typing the command a small grey key shows up and doesnt let me type anything inside the terminal. I have the admin password but I cant do anything with it.
    I bought the computer a week ago from a guy who gave me all the data he thought I might need. I went to the Apple store and the guys from there told me that the comp is locked in some way by i dont know what sort of directory from the selling company and that I have to talk to them in order to I dont know what because I dont understand much from this SF language.
    And this is not the only weird issue I have with the computer. Sometimes it tells me that in order to run or download a certain app I have to download the last OS version, or an OS newer than Lion/Snow Leopard etc. But I am already at Sierra. wtf? Or trying to run Imovie I bumped into: you cant use this because the comp belonged to another user.
    What do I do? Do I have to reinstall the system? I have also windows in Bootcamp and I am not sure how complicated this would be.
    Thanks for help in advance.

  24. CplHare
    April 3, 2017

    Outstanding tip! Thank you

  25. caroline
    April 7, 2017


  26. galaflor
    April 7, 2017

    I tried this but it asked for an admin password with a key icon. Where do I find the admin password?

    • maria
      June 11, 2017

      I got the admin password too. Not sure what this is. Did you find a solution?


  27. Reza
    April 16, 2017

    Very useful. Thank you.

  28. Abe
    April 28, 2017

    Thanks so much. This helped me. Strangely, sometimes Sierra reverts back from “Anywhere” to “App Store” again. Anybody experienced this as well?

  29. Abe
    April 28, 2017

    Thanks so much. This helped me very much.

    Strangely, sometimes Sierra reverts back from “Anywhere” to “App Store” again. Anybody experienced this as well?

  30. Kim
    May 10, 2017

    This was very helpful! Thank you very very much! I was on the phone with Apple Technical service for more than 3-hours. My call was escalated, but Apple Technical Service employees could not figure the issues (even after I kept saying “the Anywhere” option is not visible).

    It took me weeks to find this information, but Thank you

  31. Christine
    June 23, 2017

    I followed all the instructions above, but I still get an error message when I click on Bibisco to launch it. I have a screen capture of the error but cannot include it here.

    It says : ” An Error has occured. Se the log file /Users/mac/.eclipse/487195311_macosx_cocoa_x86_64/configuration/1498230110157.log.

    Does it ring a bell to anyone?


    • Christine
      June 23, 2017

      Oh!!! I made it work! Forget my question!

  32. Evance D. Ajwang
    August 3, 2017

    It works for me i needed it for mac os sierra, 5 star salute.

  33. Anurag Lohan
    August 28, 2017

    It did work for me too thanx a lot :)

  34. kent
    October 3, 2017

    thank you so much!

  35. Stefano
    November 4, 2017

    Thank you.

    By the way, how can I completely replace sierra with windows10 on a macbook air 2016 and an imac 2015?

  36. Alex Hall
    November 9, 2017


    Requiring a user to enter a super user terminal command to enable even the *option* to install “unverified” third party software is 4@@!7@ anti-competitive! So is requiring developers to this way to opt-in to a paid verification program, *or else.*

  37. David Deutsch
    November 12, 2017

    Brilliant!!!! I’ve been stuck for two days not being able to install anything. Apple support was unable to help me. I’ve reinstalled High Sierra twice and safe mode didn’t work and I couldn’t find any solutions on web. Finally found your fix and the world is a good place again. Thank you.

  38. sad
    November 14, 2017

    That’s laughable, they turned macos into a system for idiots

  39. BigDaddy
    November 30, 2017

    Friggin thanks! I use JiTouch to expand my magic mouse capabilities. Its a pref pane so there is no control clicking it to make it open every time.

  40. Bob Johnson
    January 3, 2018

    After I do all of that, and try to install Adobe CS5.5, I get, at the last step, an error 35 message and a rejected install.

    Ideas anyone?

  41. noname
    February 27, 2018

    Thanks! Wish I could turn off all this baby sitting stuff with one click….

  42. Jalal Khan
    March 23, 2018

    it works thanks bro

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