How To Install Programs From Unidentified Developers In Mac OS

When I install a Mac application from the downloaded dmg file directly ( that means I do not install it from the Mac app store ), then the below error window will pop up. The error message is something like “iZipFast” can’s be opened because it is from an unidentified developer. This means that I can not install it directly, but after some investigation, I finally find the method to resolve it.

“iZipFast" can't be opened because it is
from an unidentified developer.
Your security preferences allow installation of only
apps from the App Store and identified developers.


1. Change Security Preferences To Allow Install Application From Unidentified Developer.

  1. Follow the below steps to change the security preferences.
  2. Click Mac Logo —> System Preferences menu item to open the System Preferences popup window.
  3. Click Security & Privacy icon in the System Preferences window.
  4. Click the General tab, then click the little lock icon at the bottom left corner of the Security & Privacy window to make changes.
  5. Input correct user name and password. Then you can see that there is a message at the window bottom like your app has been blocked because it is not from an identified developer, or System software from developer “VMware, Inc.” was blocked from loading.
  6. In such cases, what you need to do is just click the Open Anyway button to install it.

2. How To Do If The Open Anyway Button Is Not Shown.

  1. If there is not the Open Anyway button in the window, you can click the General tab in the Security & Privacy window.
  2. Then click the lock icon in the lower-left corner to unlock to change the permission.
  3. Then select the Anywhere radio button from the Allow apps downloaded from.
  4. Now when you open the app, the error will disappear.
  5. If there is no the Anywhere radio button, you can run the command sudo spctl –master-disable in the terminal to make it visible and selected.
    % sudo spctl --master-disable
  6. Now the app should be opened correctly.

3. How To Fix Mac App Is Damaged And Can’t Be Opened. You Should Move It To The Trash Error.

  1. When you open a mac app, it may prompt the below error message dialog.
    App is damaged and can’t be opened. You should move it to the Trash.
  2. In this case, you should open a terminal and run the command sudo xattr -d /Applications/ to fix it.
    % sudo xattr -d /Applications/
  3. Restart the app, you may find the app can be opened as normal.

4. Question & Answer.

4.1 How To Make My Mac App Pass The Unidentified Developer Issue.

4.1.1 Question.
  1. I am a mac app developer. And I have developed a mac app that has a lot of users to use. But recently, some of my app users said they can not open my app, when they open it, it prompts the error can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer.
  2. I have a macOS developer certificate and have signed my app, and the app is also published to the mac app store. But at the same time, I also publish my app on my website, users can download it directly from my website.
  3. I found this article and got the workaround of how to manually fix it, but it is not the best solution. How to make my app pass the “unidentified developer” check from the source code?
4.1.2 Answer.
  1. I think this issue will happen only for the app downloaded from your website directly. If the user gets the app from the Mac app store, the issue should not exist. Because when you submit your app to the app store, it needs a signing identity. The signing identity can make sure the app is from an identified developer.
  2. But when you publish your app to your website which is out of the mac app store, it needs another signing identity that is different from the one you used for the Mac app store. You need to use a developer id identity to publish your app distributed, you can read more from the article Distribute outside the Mac App Store (macOS).

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