Fix “X can’t be opened because Apple cannot check for malicious software” and “Developer or app can’t be verified” using the command line.
Mac OS X Catalina has introduced a new host of permission issues. There are workarounds for applications that you’re installing to your “Applications” folder, namely right-click and use the “Open” -> “Open Anyway” trick.
For developers among you, you will want to use the command line to fix this situation rather than clicking around the UI.
For the non-developers among you, some applications will fail to open even if you give them the correct system & security settings.
This post details how to do that using the command line (Terminal) and
xattr -d com.apple.quarantine <path-to-program>.
Table of Contents
The manual permissions workaround
In order to open an application that “can’t be opened because Apple cannot check for malicious software” or “Developer or app can’t be verified”, we open Finder and go to
Find the relevant application and right-click it.
When the right-click menu opens, select & click “Open” and when the dialog opens, click “Open”.
Use the command line to fix “Apple cannot check for malicious software” and “Developer or app can’t be verified”
Your terminal application (I use iTerm but Mac OS comes with Terminal). Find the path of your application.
For applications in your “Applications” folder, that will be something like:
xattr to delete the
xattr -d com.apple.quarantine /Applications/<app-name>.app
You can then check that it’s been deleted using
xattr’s default behaviour.
That’s how you can open applications for which “Apple cannot check for malicious software” or “Developer or app can’t be verified”.
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