You can’t install 3rd party apps on Mac? Maybe it’s Gatekeeper

By | 29/05/2016

GatekeeperGatekeeper is a security feature available in the latest version of Mac OS X Lion 10.7.5 (it can be enabled on Lion since version 10.7.3 via the command-line utility spctl) and in OS X Mountain Lion and later. This feature improves security of your Mac. It allows users to restrict which sources they can install applications from, in order to reduce the likelihood of inadvertently executing malware. Here we will show you, how can Gatekeeper improve security of your Mac and how to disable it.

Gatekeeper knows three types of sources where you can get the app:

  • Mac App Store
  • Mac App Store and certified Apple developers
  • anywhere from Internet

We strongly recommend to enable first or second option. When installing app from Internet from uncertified Apple developers and you are sure about developer, temporarily disable it and then turn it on again. You can find it in system Settings in “Security & Privacy” on tab “General” under title “Allow apps downloaded from”. Click on security lock in bottom left of window to enable modifying settings. You will need admin password.

Apple can warn you before installation of apps added to blacklist. Apple can revoke the developer’s certificate too.

But it has some limitations. If app once passed through Gatekeeper, it won’t be checked again. Gatekeeper also works only for apps downloaded from Internet, apps from other sources like USB flash drives won’t be checked.

Update 1st – 28. June 2018: when app is blocked by Gatekeeper in recent versions of macOS, you can manually approve it via System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> General. You no longer need to temporarily disable Gatekeeper.

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