How to open apps not from Mac App Store

By default macOS allows you to open apps from the official Mac App Store only. If you have this still set as your default you will be seeing the warning when you try to open an app for the first time.

Luckily you can make a simple change to your settings that will allow you to open some third-party apps that aren’t on the App Store. It won’t mean that you can open every third party app without issue, but it will certainly mean you see fewer warnings.

1) Open System Preferences.
2) Go to the Security & Privacy tab.
3) Click on the lock and enter your password so you can make changes.
4) Change the setting for ‘Allow apps downloaded from’ to ‘App Store and identified developers’ from just App Store.

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You’ll still be prevented from opening anything macOS doesn’t recognise, but at least you will be able to open apps that weren’t purchased from the App Store.


How to open a blocked app

If you attempt to open an app and macOS stops you from doing so, that doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong with the app. But it will indicate that the app isn’t from an ‘identified developer’.

Luckily you can still open the app and override the block. Here’s how:

1) Open System Preferences.
2) Go to Security & Privacy and select the General tab.
how to open mac app unidentified developer 7803) If you’ve been blocked from opening an app within the past hour, this page will give you the option to override this by clicking the temporary button ‘Open Anyway’.
4) You’ll be asked one more time if you’re sure, but clicking Open will run the app.
how to open mac app unidentified developer 532bThis creates an exception for that app, so you’ll also be able to open it in the future without having to repeat this process.

Gatekeeper’s other checks will still stop you from opening an app with known malware attached to it.

Other ways to open blocked apps

Another way to open a blocked app is to locate the app in a Finder window.

1) Open the Finder.
2) Locate the app (it might be in the Applications folder, or it might still be in your downloads folder).
3) Ctrl-Click or right-click on the app.
open libraoffice thumb4) Select Open from the resultant menu and the app will be opened anyway, and an exception will be created for opening it normally (i.e. by double-clicking) in future.

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EU e-Privacy Directive