[Solved] “macOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware”

A macOS app was reported to the Apple App Store for malware and it is not clear why. The developer has been given instructions on how to fix this issue but they have yet to do so. This leads me into a discussion of what would happen if someone downloaded an application that claimed it was safe, only for them find out later that it could have caused damage or in some cases even jail time. Even though there are many instances where an app may be free from malicious code, people should always take precautions before downloading any software onto their device

The “macOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware” error message occurs when you are trying to install a new app. This article will help you fix the issue.

[Solved] “macOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware”

macOS is one of the most secure operating systems (OS) available, featuring a slew of security measures.

When attempting to install a program that isn’t trusted by the Software Store, GateKeeper is one of the security mechanisms that kicks in and says “macOS cannot verify that this app is free of viruses.”

“Apple cannot be opened because Apple cannot scan it for viruses,” and “App cannot be opened because the developer cannot be confirmed,” are examples of similar warnings. 

These warnings seem to be connected to people attempting to install software on their Macs that aren’t trusted by the App Store (i.e., apps acquired from other sources) and are often regarded as hazardous.

If you’re having trouble with this, here’s how to solve it using multiple approaches and why it occurs in the first place.


Also see: How to Easily Cancel an Apple Music Subscription.

What exactly is GateKeeper and how does it function?

Apple created the GateKeeper feature, which generates codes for every Mac software that have been downloaded. This guarantees that GateKeeper notarizes programs that it believes are malware-free and safe to use.

You may still use applications that haven’t been approved by the App Store, but there are certain restrictions.

To begin with, programs that have not been inspected for malware and notarized by the App Store may include malware, which is just a few lines of code that may infect the device and cause privacy and security concerns, among other things.

Note that although many programs are properly notarized, some legitimate apps may not be, and as a result, the system considers them unsafe to execute on Mac devices.

It turns out that either the applications don’t have a GateKeeper developer ID or those that came before the GateKeeper feature were not notarized.

This implies that, even though some of these programs are likely secure, the system will consider them like any other unknown software, resulting in the “macOS cannot verify that this app is malware-free” error.


Overall, the applications that the App Store and GateKeeper do not consider to be safe are possibly dangerous. Although not all programs are malicious, some of them may include malware codes that may infect the system and cause problems for the computer.

A Gatekeeper prevents this from happening by not allowing any unknown or untrusted programs to be installed. 

You can still get around the problem by installing the app and utilizing the aforementioned techniques to circumvent it, either for individual applications or for all of them at once, depending on which approach you choose.

Disclaimer: Although I have tried and tested these ways and they function as intended, you will be able to install any program on your Mac devices, and the App Store will not be able to prohibit individual/all untrustworthy applications.

As a result, before using any of the ways outlined here, make sure you know the validity of any program you intend to install.

Steps to Resolve the Error “macOS cannot validate that this software is malware-free”

The first method is to use Control-Click.

Assuming you’re certain that a software you’re downloading on your Mac is malware-free, here’s how to utilize the Control-Click approach to bypass or override the “macOS cannot verify that this app is free of malware” warning.

  • To begin, open Finder on your Mac.
  • You may find the specified program “XYZ” in the list of apps you wish to start, but it will give you the warning.
  • Then, Control-Click on the aforementioned program to bring up a dialog box asking whether you want to launch it or not.
  • Choose “Open.”

This technique will whitelist that software on your Mac, meaning you won’t see the “macOS cannot verify that this app is clean of malware” error any more.

Method #2: Regardless, open

Here’s an other way that should work for you.

  • To use this approach, go to the Apple Menu and choose System Preferences.
  • Select “General” from the “Security & Privacy” menu.
  • Then, under the “Allow applications to download from” area, press the “Open Anyway” button, and the dialog box may display a newly detected program that was recognized and rejected by macOS for the same reason as this instruction.
  • Before making such drastic changes, the system will require you to input your login credentials; enter them and then click “Modify Settings.”
  • A pop-up window will open, asking you to run or install the previously prohibited software on your Mac, so choose “Open.”

This should resolve the “macOS cannot verify that this software is malware-free” problem. If not, you have the option of using the following approach.


Method #3: Using the Dock

This is the simplest technique and should work for most, if not all, programs that macOS first flagged as potentially malicious.

  • On the desktop, right-click on the app’s icon on the dock (Windows’ equivalent of a taskbar) and choose “Open.”
  • A confirmation pop-up will display on the screen, followed by the choice to “Open,” indicating that you trust the app. “Open” should be tapped.
  • GateKeeper (a macOS security feature) will no longer block a user from engaging with the program after this is done.

Method #4: Allow programs to be downloaded from “Anywhere”

This solution lets all programs downloaded from the App Store and sideloaded from other developers to work smoothly on Mac devices. Here’s how to go about it.

  • To enable a hidden feature, first open Terminal on your computer and type “sudo spctl -master-disable” without the quotation marks.
  • Select “Anywhere” under “Allow applications downloaded from” in System Preferences >> Security Privacy. 

You may now utilize any app installed from any developer instead of only the App Store now that the “Anywhere” functionality has been activated.

Go to the Terminal and type “sudo spctl -master-enable” without the question mark to disable the capability. The “Anywhere” option under “Allow applications downloaded from” will be disabled as a result of this.


Final Thoughts

That is all there is to it. A description of four techniques for resolving the “macOS cannot verify that this software is malware-free” error.

I’ve also included information on what’s incorrect, what’s creating the problem, and other supporting elements so you can understand how things function.

You’ll be able to install programs that aren’t trusted by the App Store after using the techniques listed above. Note that this might be risky, so do some research on the software you wish to install and double-check its validity before doing so.

Also see: macOS Big Sur Download Error: Everything You Should Know

Watch This Video-

The “macOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware” is a problem that has been present for a while. This article will list the fixes to fix the issue. Reference: macos cannot verify that this app is free from malware monterey.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get around macOS Cannot verify that this app is free from malware?

A: You can download a trial version of the software which will allow you to use it as long as you want without any further restrictions. Different companies have different policies, but these are some ways in which this issue has been solved.

How do I bypass app verification on Mac?

A: This is not possible to bypass on Mac.

How do you fix Cannot be opened because the developer Cannot be verified on Mac?

A: This error is due to a security feature put in place by Apple. Because no developer can be verified, the game cannot open and must exit. You will need to install Steam on your Mac or PC so that you can play Beat Saber from Steam instead of downloading it through their website directly and opening with its built-in web browser.

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