Fixing ‘Cannot be Opened Because the Developer Cannot be Verified’ Error on Mac

When using Mac, at least once every user has faced Cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified error. What does it mean? The error most often occurs when you try to install or run a third-party application. On macOS, you can install various programs, but the safest one to use apps only from the App Store. Only this way you can be sure Apple verifies the developer, and that their software has passed multiple layers of security checks.

cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified

If you install a program downloaded from a third-party site, your computer may block it. The error could be Developer cannot be verified to Mac or macOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware. There are many variations of these errors. They all mean that the system has detected a vulnerability and your data may be stolen. Or there is a risk of macOS being infected with a virus.

In what cases this error may occur:

  • Updating macOS to an older version (such as OS Monterey);
  • Re-installing the operating system or resetting system settings (after resetting, security settings can be updated and returned to their original requirements);
  • After backing up your data;
  • When the Mac version of the App Store becomes obsolete;
  • Outdated macOS version;

But don’t despair! There are several ways to solve this problem.

Let’s find out how to avoid this error and install or run the app from any source.

5 Ways to Get Rid of App Verification Error

  1. If you are trying to download an app from a third-party site, get rid of it. When downloading files the Apple Store checks them for viruses and Trojans. Third-party sites do not. Accordingly, you may download a file with a virus and harm your computer. In this case, look for the right application on the App Store.
  2. Make sure you are downloading the latest version of the app (you may be using an older version of macOS). For example, on High Sierra you won’t be able to install the latest versions of apps even through the App Store. Update your macOS and App Store version, and then download the latest version of the program you need. If your computer doesn’t support new versions of macOS, use the App Store web page to download programs. However, you’re unlikely to find the latest versions of programs for an outdated operating system.
  3. Run the application by making an exception in the security settings. If you see the “Mac cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified” error, try to make an exception for a specific file download.
    To complete this, open the Finder and find the application that is getting the error when opening or installing it. Then press Ctrl and right-click on the mouse or touchpad to open the application. The application should be saved as an exception in the security settings, and that will allow you to open.
  4. Use the Safari browser to download the application. This browser has built-in services to check installation files for viruses. If you download the application using third-party browsers, the checking process won’t happen. Because of this, macOS does not confirm the security of the file. In most cases, using the Safari browser to download an app file will help you to get rid of the “Mac developer cannot be verified” error.
  5. Try bypassing the macOS security lock manually (for all third-party apps). But this can only be done in Apple’s System Preferences.

mac os cannot verify that this app is free from malware

In the top menu, select “System Preferences”, then go to “Security and Privacy”. Take a look at the screenshot.

developer cannot be verified mac

You need to activate the App Store and Identified Developers feature in this section to download apps from third-party developers.

mac cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified

After that, restart your computer and try running the app. It should work now!

Cyril Kardashevsky

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