Running Any App With Sierra Gatekeeper

In Sierra the system Gatekeeper function has been changed to only allow apps either from the App Store or from identified developers. But if you need to run other software, such as special software in a work environment, you can still run any software if you know how to override Gatekeeper.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Running Any App With Sierra Gatekeeper.

Starting with Sierra, if you go into System Preferences, Security and Privacy, General and you look at the Gatekeeper section, even though it's not labeled Gatekeeper anymore, you see there are only two options.
Allow Apps from the App Store or App Store and Identified Developers. And that's great because for most people that's what it should be set at. As a matter of fact you should just set it to App Store.

But suppose you have an app that you're downloading. Maybe something from your company at work and they say you need to install this software that they've developed and you need to put that on there and it's not an identified developer. It's some specialty software. How do you get that running on your Mac?

Well, it's the same way you would get something running on your Mac if you have it checked just App Store and not App Store and Identified Developers and you download something outside the App Store. So let's go and take a look at how you would do that.

So let's go to the site of a developer I know and trust, Panic, which they make Transmit, which is the FTP software I've been using for years. They have another piece of software that I'm not currently using call Coda and let's go and download the trial of that. So that's now downloaded. Let's install it and there's the app. I can go ahead and just run it from here just for a test.

When I try to do it, it's going to come up with a message telling me it can't be opened because it was not downloaded from the App Store. That's because of this setting here where I've got it set to App Store Only. If I had it set to App Store and Identified Developers it would open okay since it's an identified developer. However if it was some custom software then it would just come up with a message similar to this saying It's not downloaded from the App Store or an Identified Developer.

So what can I do to fix this? Well, I can hit okay and immediately can see in System Preferences, Security and Privacy, I get this new button. It just appeared and it says that the app was blocked and I can open it anyway. That's one way to do it.

Another way to do it is by going to the folder where it's located, say you put it in your Applications folder, and I can Control click on it and decide to open from there. When I do that you can see I have the similar message and all that. Except I've got another button here. I've got this Open button. So before if I were just to double click it you can see there's just an Okay button there and I can't launch it. But Control Open will give me this additional button here, Open, and now I can open the app that way.

Once I've run the app it's then going to allow me to keep doing it. But these two ways allow me to get passed the block there if you need to. But I would caution that for most Mac users you should stick with apps from the App Store only. If you know what you're doing then you can download from identified developers like I would do from say Panic or Adobe or Microsoft but beyond that never install an app that's not at least from an identified developer meaning it has a software certificate from Apple from their Developer Program.