Out of the box, OS X’s Gatekeeper security settings restrict the apps you can open to “Mac App Store and identified developers.” It’s a way to protect typical users from running potentially malicious software and, of course, a way to drive customers to the Mac App Store.

But if you want to open apps from “Anywhere,” like something you found on MacUpdate or an Automator utility someone put together for a blog post, you don’t need to (temporarily) change your security settings. Here’s an easy workaround:

  • Open System Preferences > Security & Privacy
  • Try opening the app you want
  • Click the “Open Anyway” button that appears in Security & Privacy

That pane alerts you about the attempt to open the app with a brief explanation of why it was denied, but the Open Anyway option offers a simple override. This way, you can maintain the security that Apple’s Gatekeeper technology provides, while still opening other apps when you’re sure you can trust them.


Thanks to Brett Terpstra and Chris Herbert, there’s another easy method for right-clickers in the audience: simply right-click the unsigned app to tell OS X you want to open it, and you’ll see the verification dialog in this post’s gallery.