Mac OS X,Operating Systems 11/20/2013 at 15:51

Run applications downloaded from internet in Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion


One of the features available in the Apple´s operating system of since Mac OSX Lion (Versión 10.7.5) is GateKeeper. With this functionality, the operating system restricts the execution of programs from “doubtful” sources , thus interposing another barrier between our system and malware.
So far so good, the problem arises when we want to run some software that the guys at Cupertino considered doubtful, although we know perfectly well that is free from suspicion, for example GPL applications that are not available in the App Store, as the default settings of GateKeeper only lets you run applications downloaded from the official Apple Store or “identified developers” .
So, it’s common that after downloading an application from the internet and try to run the installer of the application, the system doesn´t allow the execution of the program, showing you a warning similar to the following screenshot:

GateKeeper Security Warning

GateKeeper Security Warning

To solve this, we have two options, either change the overall system configuration, or enable execution of the application you have downloaded. In the following sections, both options will be reviewed.


1.- Change application-specific configuration

With this solution we will allow to run only the application you just downloaded, making it the most recommended solution . To do this, locate in Finder the file you want to run, and instead of double clicking on it, we will click with the right mouse button so the system will display the shortcut menu. In this menu, select the Open with … option.

In doing so the system will display a warning dialog box informing that the file you want to run may not be safe, similar to that shown in the following screenshot:


Security Warning

Security Warning

By clicking on the Open button, the system runs the program, and will not return to blockade its execution next time we want to run it by double clicking.


2.- Change the overall system configuration

Using this option will change the way that GateKeeper treats all files downloaded from the Internet, so we will never see the security advisory again.
To change the general system preferences, we must click the preferences icon on the Dock:


System Preferences Icon

System Preferences Icon

Then select the option Security & Privacy :


Security & Privacy Icon

Security & Privacy Icon

In the lower half section of General tab, we can see the settings section Allow apps downloaded from. However, in order to change these options we must click on the lock icon in the lower left corner of the screen.


Unlocking the Security Preferences

Unlocking the Security Preferences

Once you have clicked the lock icon, the system requests the current user’s password. After you entered, you can modify freely Security & Privacy settings:


Modifying Security & Privacy preferences

Modifying Security & Privacy preferences

By selecting Anywhere the system will not block the execution of any program downloaded from the Internet and you will not see the annoying security warning any more. However, I must insist that this option is not the most recommended , the best way to run applications downloaded from the Internet is the one explained in section 1 of this article.


This post is also available in Español.

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