So, you’ve probably found an awesome app that you want to install on your Mac. But when you try to run it, you get a message box that pops up saying “can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer.” This is a pretty common issue to run into. Fortunately it’s very easy to fix.
What Is an Unidentified Developer?
An unidentified developer isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just means that the person who wrote the app is not registered in Apple’s Developer program. Typically someone who wanted to write apps for Apple would register as a developer. When they do this, they get a personal certificate that they can use to sign their apps that they design. This allows two things. One, it tells Apple who wrote the app, and two, it lets Mountain Lion determine if the app has been tampered with at all.
Bottom line. There are tons of apps out there that have been written by an “unidentified developer”. It could be a product from a private developer or freeware. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad app. As always, just be careful where you download stuff and what you install. Software with a good reputation will always show signs of good support by the developer and usually good community support as well. It’s usually easy to spot a legit app and just as easy to spot one that is suspect.
I Am The Gatekeeper
In OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, a new feature called Gatekeeper was introduced. It’s basically a security feature that is supposed to keep you from installing malicious apps that could mess up your computer. (Whether or not it can actually be considered security is a whole new topic.) But, sometimes it can get in the way. Actually, a lot of times it can get in the way! Luckily there are two options for getting around Gatekeeper, and they are both painless.
If you would rather keep your Gatekeeper settings and just need to run one or two apps occasionally. Then this method is for you.
Right-click the app and select “Open”
When the box opens asking are you sure if you want to open it. Select “Open”.
If you’re like me and don’t want to be bothered with messages, then you’ll want to use this method which changes your security settings.
Open your System Preferences and select “Security and Privacy”.
Click the lock in the lower left hand corner and enter your administrator password when prompted.
Under the following section, select “Anywhere”.
You will be prompted with this box. Select “Allow From Anywhere”.
Click the lock in the lower left hand corner to prevent any further changes.
That was pretty painless right? You will now be able to install any app from anywhere. Be careful! 🙂
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