macOS' Gatekeeper Woes

Gatekeeper is the feature at work when OS X tells you that a particular application can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer.

For those tech-savvy that know what they are doing this can be extremely annoying! So let's disable Gatekeeper!


The Gatekeeper settings can be found in System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General.


The Gatekeeper options are located beneath All apps downloaded from:, but the choice of Anywhere missing from Sierra onward.

Thankfully, the Anywhere setting can be restored to Gatekeeper in Sierra. First, quit System Preferences and open a Terminal window.

Enter the following command:

sudo spctl --master-disable

Now, relaunch System Preferences and head back to the Gatekeeper settings. Now Anywhere has been restored.


El Capitan

It turns out that Apple quietly made a key change to the way that Gatekeeper works in El Capitan, and the feature will now re-enable itself (a.k.a. “auto rearm”) after 30 days.

Turn Auto Enable Off:

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ GKAutoRearm -bool NO

Turn Auto Enable On:

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ GKAutoRearm -bool YES
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