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Fix: MacOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware

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  • 4 min read
Photo: guteksk7 / Shutterstock.com

Photo: guteksk7 / Shutterstock.com

As a Macbook user, you may have received a message that says macOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware when you try to install or run an app from outside the App Store.

This can be frustrating, especially when you trust the app and want to use it promptly.

In this article, we’ll explain how to bypass this error and give you more insights into this error message.


What does macOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware mean?

Photo: Farknot Architect / Shutterstock.com
Photo: Farknot Architect / Shutterstock.com

The warning ‘macOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware’ means that the app has yet to be notarised by Apple. Either the app’s review is still in process, or the app is malware.

This warning happens because of an in-built security feature called Gatekeeper. Gatekeeper is designed to block malicious software and ensure that only the trusted software runs on your Macbook.

The Gatekeeper verifies the Developer ID signature of the app so that it can know if the app was really from the trusted developer or not. This feature also requires the app to be notarized by Apple, meaning it has passed an automated scan for malicious codes.

However, some apps do not have a Developer ID signature or may not have been notarized by Apple.

Also read: Macbook Pro touch bar not working: Quick Fix 


How to fix ‘macOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware mean’?

To resolve the ‘macOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware’ error, you have several options depending on the cause. Here are some potential solutions:

Disable Gatekeeper

If Gatekeeper prevents you from opening a specific app, temporarily disable it.

Here are the steps to disable Gatekeeper:

Step 1: Go to System Settings > Security & Privacy.

Step 2: Select Allow apps downloaded from and choose App Store. (Note: This option may not be available in newer macOS versions).

If Anywhere isn’t an option, follow the instructions given below:

Step 1: Head to Applications > Utilities.

Step 2: Now, click on Terminal.

Step 3: Enter the command: sudo spctl --master-disable. Press Return and follow the steps above.

However, remember that disabling Gatekeeper compromises your Mac’s security, so proceed with caution and re-enable Gatekeeper after opening the app.


Install the app anyway

If you trust the source but still encounter the error, try installing the app anyway. Control-click the app, hold down Control, and select Open from the context menu.


Redownload the app

If the app’s digital signature is invalid or corrupted, consider redownloading it from the developer’s official website.


Explore alternative apps

If you’re unable to resolve the issue, explore other apps that offer similar functionality as an alternative.

Also read: MacBook Pro trackpad not clicking: Quick Fix

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Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: [email protected]

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