KEY POINTS

  • macOS Catalina doesn't run unknown apps
  • Apple designed this to protect users from malicious software
  • There's a way to launch unknown apps, but Apple hid it from users

Apple's latest macOS version, Catalina, brings a slew of new features to the Mac and MacBook for a great user experience. These features bring added functionality, more ease of use, and improved security.

One of the ways macOS Catalina boosts user security is by preventing unknown apps from running on the device. As such, Macs and MacBooks running on the latest macOS version won't allow users to launch just about any app they want; apps should be sourced from the App Store or should come from Apple-approved developers, which will have Developer IDs.

Apple's logic here is very simple: by preventing the use of unknown apps, users will be protected from malicious software. Those who try to launch an unknown app by double-clicking on it will be greeted with a warning that says the app “can't be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software.” It's pretty straightforward.

Those who are greeted by such a warning won't find any other option on the screen except a “?” icon and a big blue button with “OK” written on it. There's no option to “Trust” the app so that it can be launched, even if the app comes from a developer the users trust. All users can do here is press the “OK” button for the warning to close.

Still, there are ways to launch those unknown apps – Cupertino didn't really slam the doors on running third-party unknown apps; users simply have to find their way in order to do that, Cult of Mac reported. Here's how to run apps that won't be launched by macOS Catalina:

  • First, users will need to launch System Preferences on their Mac or MacBook.
  • Second, after launching the app, users will need to open the Security panel. A warning will appear inside the panel, saying the “[app name] was blocked from use because it is not from an identified developer.” Beside this warning is a button that says “Open Anyway.” Users can simply click on that button to launch that app.

Alternatively, users can also launch unknown apps using an easier method that doesn't require as much clicks as the method above. Here's how:

  • First, users will need to right-click (or ⌃-click or two-finger tap) on the app.
  • Second, a menu box will appear. Users should choose “Open With” and choose to open the app using apps on the list. For example, installers should be opened with the Installer app. Regular apps, on the other hand, open normally after right-clicking.