How to Allow Apps from Anywhere in macOS Gatekeeper (Big Sur, Catalina, Mojave, Sierra, High Sierra, Ventura)
Gatekeeper in macOS is now stricter than ever, defaulting to only allow options for apps downloaded from either the App Store or the App Store and identified developers. Advanced Mac users may wish to allow a third option, which is the ability to open and allow apps downloaded from anywhere in macOS Big Sur, macOS Catalina, macOS Sierra, macOS High Sierra, macOS Mojave, and macOS Ventura.
To be clear, the “Allow applications downloaded from anywhere” option is hidden by default in Gatekeeper for macOS from Sierra onward. You can see this by going to the Security & Privacy preference panel (System Settings in Ventura), and under the “General” section you will not find such an option for Gatekeeper app allow settings. Despite that, with a little command line intervention you can reveal the third option and regain the ability to open apps that come from anywhere.
This is not recommended for most Mac users, only advanced Mac users and developers who have the ability to accurately gauge app validity should use this method, which involves disabling Gatekeeper from the command line, thereby removing the standard Gatekeeper security mechanisms in macOS.
How to Allow Apps from Anywhere in Gatekeeper
macOS Big Sur & later...
- Quit out of System Preferences
- Open the Terminal app from the /Applications/Utilities/ folder and then enter the following command syntax:
sudo spctl --master-disable
- Hit return and authenticate with an admin password
- Relaunch System Preferences (System Settings in Ventura) and go to “Security & Privacy” and the “General” tab or "Security" section for macOS Ventura
- You will now see the “Anywhere” option under ‘Allow apps downloaded from:’ Gatekeeper options
You’ll now be able to open and launch apps from anywhere under macOS Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, and Ventura but be forewarned this turns off Gatekeeper and is not recommended for the vast majority of Mac users.
Allowing apps from anywhere including unidentified developers can potentially leave a Mac vulnerable to certain malware and junkware and should be avoided by all Mac users with the exception of those with genuinely advanced abilities.