How to Fix Can’t Be Opened Because Apple Cannot Check It for Malicious Software

All Mac OS versions run on a technology named Gatekeeper, which is specially designed to make sure that only trusted software runs on your Mac. If the software you are attempting to open is not certified, then you are going to see a message like this; can’t be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software.

Fix the error: Can’t be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software.”

Apparently, there are some methods that you can do to fix the error. Most applications can be easily opened by these methods:

How to Fix Can't Be Opened Because Apple Cannot Check It for Malicious Software

Method 1

  • At the first step, you have to navigate the System Preferences.
  • After that, you are able to choose Security & Privacy.
  • Then, simply you only need to click Open Anyway.

navigate the System Preferences-Security & Privacy-click Open Anyway

Method 2: Right Click App.

  • Instead of double clicking on the app, in this method you only need to right click and press Open.
  • Then, you are going to get a notice “Can’t be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software.” But, you can still get the option to open the program.

nly need to right click and press Open.

Method 3: Works for Mac OS Catalina.

  • Firstly, you have to open Terminal App – Applications -> Terminal.
  • Then, you are able to use xattr to delete the app from quarantine.

$ xattr -d com.apple.quarantine <app-path>

 xattr d com.apple.quarantine app-path

Requirements for this,

Tools : Macs and MacBooks

Materials: Mac OS Catelina, Mojave and Older

Since the release of the Mac OS Catalina apple has deleted the option in the Security and Privacy settings to allow programs from Anywhere to be downloaded. Now, only individual programs are able to be given permission to be installed.

Based on the research, there are lots of programs that have a notarization problem since the Catalina Update. Apple has tightened its privacy policies and also has limited certification to apps only in the app store. Even though there are solutions, most users may feel an unease to install such programs.

Here are some common errors: can’t be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software.

  • java 8 update 251
  • jdk 8 update 251.pkg
  • sourcetree
  • mongodb compass
  • runescape
  • JetBrains ToolBox
  • Visual Studio Code
  • Amazon Software downloader
  • League of Legends
  • FireFox software Update
  • ultimaker cura
  • Install Spotify
  • mysqlworkbench
  • Airmail Beta
  • Bitwig Studio
  • sky go installer
  • skype
  • macperformance
  • appium

mysqlworkbench cannot be opened, this refers to MySQL WorkBench is a legitimate program and it should not be considered a virus or malware. It is a compacted visual tool for developers, DBAs and database architects. Also,  MySQL Workbench provides data modeling, user administration, SQL development, backup, and much more. Aside from that, MySQL Workbench is compatible with most versions of Mac OS X, including the latest version Mac OS 10.15.5.

sourcetree cannot be opened, this most certainly is not malicious. It interacts with your Git repositories and visualizes and arranges your repositories through Sourcetree’s simple Git GUI. It is a Free Git client which is compatible with both Mac OS 10 and Windows 10. Please ensure that you have downloaded the latest version of SourceTree for Mac

java 8 update 251 cannot be opened, this refers to the latest version of Java 8.0. Actually, this is not malicious software, but you cannot download the software from the app store so the pop up message can show up in all cases. If you are interested in the latest updates, you are able to check out the official update release for Java.

mysql-8.0.21-macos10.15-x86_64.pkg. You have to know that the latest MySQL package for mac is appearing to have the same issue. Installing it directly from the official MySQL page will be able to lead to the same message.

For note: Allowing applications to be installed manually takes potential risk from virus or malware. Programs like Source Tree are legit, but try to ensure that you are downloading the latest version of the software and from an authorized site before proceeding.

Alternative error messages

Some users have been getting a similar message “macOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware”. It is related to gatekeeper technology again where the application is not verified by apple. Lots of reputable applications have such a message when attempting to install on a Mac.

Sometimes, it cannot be opened because it is from an unknown developer. In this case, MacOS is not mentioning that this application is potentially harmful. This is somewhat confusing because lots of unidentified developer apps for Mac do receive a message that it cannot be checked for malicious software. But, if you do get this message you are able to bypass and open the app with the same instructions above.

Safely open apps on your Mac

As we said before that MacOS includes a technology named Gatekeeper, which is  designed to ensure that only trusted software runs on your Mac. The place to get apps safely for your Mac is the App Store. Apple reviews each app in the App Store before it is accepted and signs it to make sure that it has not been tampered with or changed. If there is an issue with an app, Apple can delete it from the store quickly.

If you download and install applications from the internet or directly from a developer, then MacOS continues to protect your Mac. Once you install Mac apps, plugins, or installer packages from outside the App Store, so macOS will be able to check the Developer ID signature to verify that the software is from an identified developer and also that it has not been changed. By default, also Mac OS Catalina requires software to be notarized, so you are able to be confident that the software you run on your Mac does not contain virus or malware. Before you open the downloaded software for the first time, Mac OS will ask your approval to ensure that you are not misled into running software you do not not expect.

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