How to permanently get rid of “unidentified developer” warnings in Mac OS Sierra 10.12

Summary: The Terminal command “sudo spctl –master-disable” can restore the option to open apps from anywhere without Sierra giving you a warning.

The General tab in the “Security & Privacy” System Preference used to show you three settings for where it would allow you to open applications from without complaining: just the Apps Store, just the App Store plus “identified” developers who’d paid into Apple’s developer program, or anywhere:


In Sierra, the third option was removed:

Security & Privacy System Preference, bottom section in Sierra

It’s still possible to open apps from unidentified developers by ctrl-clicking or right-clicking on them and choosing “open” from the contextual menu that pops up, but it’s still an unnecessary step.

But first, the standard disclaimer: you issue commands in Terminal at your own risk. This post shows what worked for me, but I’m not there to look over your setup for anything that might be different in your case. That’s your job to figure out. If you follow these instructions, and something goes wrong or your computer breaks, you’re going to be in a lot of trouble, and it’s not going to be my fault.  If you have a problem with that, you should just leave your Terminal app alone and hire a consultant to do this for you. By the way, I may be available. :smiley face:

As of the initial release of Sierra, to restore the third “Anywhere” option to the bottom of the Security & Privacy System Preference, open, and enter the following and hit return:

sudo spctl --master-disable

Then type your password (it won’t display as you type) when asked and hit return.

That’s all. Close your System Preferences if they’re open, and next time you open the Security & Privacy System Preference, the “Anywhere” option will be back.

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