Disable OS X GateKeeper

GateKeeper was introduced into OS X when the Mac App Store was first launched. The purpose of this security setting is to prevent unrecognized or unauthorized code to run without your approval. This is a wonderful idea however Apple’s implementation of it is severely flawed. Apple’s #1 goal is to offer the best user experience anyone could ask for. In most areas they exceed expectation but this is one that I believe they have utterly failed on.


GateKeeper defaults to only allow applications (programs) to run that are downloaded from the Mac App Store. What this means is that any software developer that is not a member of the Apple Developer Program will not only have their apps excluded from the App Store but they will not be able to run on any Mac computers. There are thousands of software developers that write completely legimate programs but choose not to pay Apple to include them in the App Store. One big reason is that Apple takes a percentage of every sale just for hosting the app.

You are allowed to change what can run by choosing “Anywhere” but every time Apple pushes out an update to OS X, this setting gets reset to “Mac App Store.” If you are like me and get easily annoyed by things like this, you can run a Terminal command to permanently disable GateKeeper. To do so, open Terminal and run the following commands based on if you want to enable or disable it.

Disable Gatekeeper:

sudo spctl --master-disable

Enable Gatekeeper:

sudo spctl --master-enable

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