Troubleshooting Guide: App is Damaged, Cannot Be Opened on Mac

Have you ever encountered a situation where your Mac says that the app is damaged and cannot be opened? This can be a frustrating experience, especially if the app is essential to your workflow. This error usually appears when you try to open an app downloaded from the internet or an unidentified developer. In this article, we will explore this error in detail and discuss how to fix it efficiently.

What causes the ‘App is Damaged, Cannot Be Opened’ error on Mac?

This problem is primarily caused by the built-in security measures of macOS. Apple has introduced a feature called Gatekeeper that prevents the execution of applications that are not signed by a trusted developer or downloaded from the Mac App Store. This feature enhances the security of the macOS environment as it limits the execution of potentially harmful applications.

However, this feature can cause issues with applications that are downloaded from the internet or from unidentified developers. If you try to open such applications, you may see an error message stating that the app is damaged and cannot be opened. In addition, this error may also appear if the application is corrupted or has missing components.

How to fix the ‘App is Damaged, Cannot Be Opened’ error on Mac?

Here are some solutions that you can apply to fix the ‘App is Damaged, Cannot Be Opened’ error on Mac:

1. Disable Gatekeeper temporarily

To disable Gatekeeper temporarily and run a specific application blocked by it, follow these steps:

– Go to ‘System Preferences’ and click on ‘Security & Privacy.’
– Under the ‘General’ tab, click on the lock icon to make changes.
– Enter your administrator password.
– Click on the option ‘Allow apps downloaded from.’ Choose the option ‘Anywhere.’
– A warning message will appear. Click on the ‘Allow from Anywhere’ button to allow the app to run.
– You can now launch the previously blocked app.

Note: After running the app, it’s good to enable Gatekeeper again for safety reasons.

2. Run the App from the Terminal

Sometimes, you can run the ‘App is Damaged, Cannot Be Opened’ by bypassing the Gatekeeper from the Terminal. To do so, follow these steps:

– Launch the Terminal application.
– Type the command ‘sudo spctl –master-disable’ and press Enter.
– Enter the administrator password.
– Open the damaged app. It should now open without any issues.
– After executing the app, re-enable the Gatekeeper by running the Terminal command ‘sudo spctl –master-enable.’

3. Re-download the application

If the app is still not working, try to download it again from the developer’s website or a verified source.

4. Update the macOS and the app

It’s advisable to keep your macOS and applications up to date to prevent compatibility issues and security vulnerabilities. Check for any updates available for the macOS and the problematic app. If the app is outdated, try updating it to the latest version available.

Concluding thoughts on ‘App is Damaged, Cannot Be Opened’ Error on Mac

In conclusion, the ‘App is Damaged, Cannot Be Opened’ error is a common error faced by Mac users. This error usually appears due to the security measures of macOS that prevent the execution of unsigned or unverified applications. The solutions discussed above should be able to resolve most of the issues encountered due to this error. It’s important to ensure that you download applications from verified sources to avoid this error and prevent any security threats.

FAQs about ‘App is Damaged, Cannot Be Opened’ Error on Mac

1. Can I disable Gatekeeper permanently on my Mac?

Yes, you can disable Gatekeeper permanently on your Mac. However, it’s not recommended as it’s a security feature that prevents harmful applications from executing on your Mac. By disabling it permanently, you’re putting your Mac at risk.

2. What should I do if the App is still not opening after trying all the solutions?

If the app is still not opening, it’s recommended to contact the developer’s support team for further assistance. They may have additional troubleshooting steps specific to the application.

3. Why does the ‘App is Damaged, Cannot Be Opened’ error only appear on some apps?

This error usually appears on apps downloaded from the internet or from unidentified developers that are not verified by Apple’s Gatekeeper. In addition, if an app is corrupted or has missing components, it may also cause this error.



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Peter Graham
Peter Graham
Hi there! I'm Peter, a software engineer and tech enthusiast with over 10 years of experience in the field. I have a passion for sharing my knowledge and helping others understand the latest developments in the tech world. When I'm not coding, you can find me hiking or trying out the latest gadgets.


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