Run my plugin installers – even though they’re not from the Mac App Store

Mac OS X  has many security features – the most important of which are default settings that protect Mac users. A recent addition is ‘Gatekeeper’ which has a function of preventing some applications from running on your Mac.

The default setting protects users: Only software downloaded from the Apple-curated Mac App Store can be opened.


If you want to install any of my recent plugins, that is a problem. I don’t yet sell software on the Mac App Store.

There are two ways around this: use an alternate method to open my installers, or change the Gatekeeper setting to allow my installers to open normally.

Run my installers using a shortcut

Instead of double-clicking the installer, control- or right-click it to see a shortcut menu. Choose Open from the menu. You’ll see a different message:


Click Open. If you need to run the installer again, OS X will allow you to do this by double-clicking as normal.

Change OS X security settings

To change the OS X security settings, choose System Preferences… from the Apple menu, and click Security & Privacy:


You’ll see that the default setting is to only allow applications downloaded from the Mac App Store to run: gatekeeper-2

You’ll see that the setting you need to change is greyed out. To change it, click the lock and enter your password. Change it to Allow applications downloaded from: Mac App Store and identified developers.


Close the Security & Privacy panel to finish.

This setting isn’t as safe as only allowing applications from the Mac App Store. But  I’m an identified developer. This means if I include unapproved software in any of my applications, Apple can instantly disable all my apps wherever they are installed.

  1. paulmarcel said:

    Good tip; though I have my gatekeeper settings lower, I didn’t know about the context menu’s open command giving the choice that is otherwise blocked. That will be handy.

  2. Janice Valdez said:

    Thank you!


  3. I thought it was set to “Mac App Store and identified developers” by default? Did this change in 10.8.5 or 10.9?

    It is set correctly by default on my test systems and we’ve received no support emails about this.

    • Alex said:

      Ah, you have much more experience than I on this subject. I wrote this post because a couple of people couldn’t run my installers.

      Thanks for Plugin Manager, the application I use to make them.

      • Thankfully it’s not the default so only a minority of people have this set. I hope Apple never makes it the default option.

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