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How to Fix ‘Cannot Be Opened Because the Developer Cannot be Verified’ Error on Mac?

The error “Cannot Be Opened Because the Developer Cannot be Verified” is a security measure on macOS to prevent unidentified and potentially malicious applications from running. Apple introduced the Gatekeeper tool to ensure only trusted software runs on Macs. Still, sometimes legitimate apps can trigger this warning.

Here’s a detailed guide to bypass this restriction:

1. Temporarily Allow the App to Open:

  • Right-click (or Ctrl-click) on the application in question.
  • Select “Open” from the dropdown menu.
  • A dialog box will appear with an option to open the application anyway. Click “Open.”
  • The application will then be added to the exceptions list, and you can open it normally in the future.

2. Allow App via System Preferences:

  • If you try to open an app and get the “Cannot Be Opened” error, note the app’s name.
  • Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy.
  • In the General tab, you’ll see a message at the bottom regarding the app you tried to open. Click the “Open Anyway” button next to it. Then, confirm that you want to open it.

3. Disable Gatekeeper (Not Recommended for the Long-Term): Disabling Gatekeeper entirely can expose your Mac to potential threats. If you choose to do this, it’s advisable only to disable it temporarily.

  • Open Terminal (You can find Terminal in Applications > Utilities).
  • Enter the following command and hit enter: sudo spctl --master-disable
  • Enter your password when prompted.
  • This will add an “Anywhere” option under “Allow apps downloaded from:” in the “Security & Privacy” settings, which effectively turns off Gatekeeper.

To re-enable Gatekeeper after installing your application, follow these steps:

  • Go back to Terminal.
  • Enter: sudo spctl --master-enable
  • This will remove the “Anywhere” option and re-enable Gatekeeper.

4. Check for App Updates: Sometimes, developers release updates to make their apps compliant with Apple’s latest security measures. Ensure the app is updated to the latest version, either through the App Store or the app’s official website.

5. Verify the App’s Integrity: If you’re unsure about the app’s source or its safety:

  • Consider downloading apps only from the Mac App Store or trusted developers.
  • Scan the app with trusted antivirus or antimalware software to ensure it’s free of malicious code.

6. Remove Quarantine Attribute: macOS quarantines apps downloaded from the internet, which can lead to the verification error. To de-quarantine an app:

  • Open Terminal.
  • Type sudo xattr -r -d com.apple.quarantine followed by a space.
  • Drag the application from Finder into the Terminal window to populate its path.
  • Press Enter, then enter your password.

After using any of these methods, try to run the application again. If you continue to face issues, ensure that the app is compatible with your macOS version and consider reaching out to the app’s developer for further support. Remember always to prioritize your system’s security and avoid downloading apps from unknown sources.

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