[Fixed] “Can’t be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software” Error

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For mac users, an error like can’t be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software is a pretty common one.


The error usually appears when you try to launch an app that Apple doesn’t trust. Since Apple uses a functionality called Gatekeeper, it is designed to make sure that only trusted apps and software runs on your Mac.

So in case, if you are trying to run an application that Apple doesn’t trust, you will encounter the error.

While this is a pretty useful feature for not allowing malicious programs not running on your computer. But sometimes, the error might appear when you try to launch genuine programs.

However, not to worry, as in this article, I will share a step-by-step guide that will help you bypass the error.

So here we go:

Also, Read: How to Move or Delete Apps on Apple TV

What causes can’t be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software error?

Can’t be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software

We all know how Apple is strict about what programs you can use on your device. While iOS devices don’t allow you to sideload apps, the same doesn’t go with your Mac.

But still, Apple wants you to only use the apps that Apple authorizes. Any app that you have downloaded from the Mac App Store is a trusted app by Apple already.


But when you try to install or run apps outside the App Store or any plugins or installer package, the macOS checks the Developer ID signature to verify that the software is from an identified developer.

If it verifies successfully, you won’t see any error. But in case, if macOS fails to verify the software, you will encounter the “cannot be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software”.

How to Bypass “Can’t be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software” Error?

Method 1: Change Security Settings

One of the quickest ways to get rid of the error is to change your security preferences. For this, you will need to follow the below steps:

  • Click on the Apple logo from the top left corner and go to System Preferences.
  • Go to Security & Privacy from the following screen.
  • Finally, select Open anyway located under Allow apps downloaded from the section.
  • That’s it. Now you will be able to launch the application without any errors.

Method 2: Right Click On The App

Instead of double-clicking on the app to launch it, you can right-click on the app and select Open launch the app. This way, you will not encounter any security messages. Anyway, here is what you have to do:

  • First, find the app that you wish to launch.
  • Right-click on it.
  • Select open then you will find the option to open the app without any security warnings.

Method 3: Remove the Quarantine Extended Attribute

Every app that you download and install on your system applies a certain attribute to them. By removing the attribute from your app, you can easily get rid of the error.

For this, we will have to use the Terminal, and below are the steps that you have to follow:

  • Launch Terminal from your Mac.
  • Type the following command and press enter: xattr -d com.apple.quarantine /path/to/file
  • Over here, make sure to replace the path with your app’s path. 
  • Once done, reboot your Mac, and it should solve the issue. 

Apple has removed the option to allow all third-party applications

If you are on macOS Catalina, you may find the Security and privacy settings to be a bit different. There is now an Anywhere option.

This option is introduced to allow programs from anywhere to be downloaded. However, only individual programs will be permitted to be installed.


Final Words:

So that was all for how to fix can’t be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software error. Now go ahead and try following the above methods and see if it did fix the error for you.

Also, if you are stuck at anything, let me know through the comments.

Also, Read: [Solved] “macOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware”

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