Overnight, TextWrangler crashed with a message "TextWrangler" is damaged and can't be opened. I deleted "TextWrangler" and download it again from the App Store.

I couldn't update from the Mac App Store, because the latest version of TextWrangler requires 10.8.5 or later, so Snow Leopard and Lion users are out of luck.

Since the crash happened at midnight, I wagered a guess that it was date/time related.

Sure enough, changing the system date back to November 11 magically "repaired" the "damaged" app and allowed it to start; while coming back to the present (November 12) made the app refuse to start, with the same message as before.

That's not a tenable long-term solution; but, all is not lost. (See my "fix" in the answer section.)

I'm still curious as to why the app stopped working on a particular day though; and, if there is a better solution that stays "in channel" with the App Store.


It appears that this is more widespread than just the single app..

  • Interestingly, I copied the TextWrangler.app to a different computer (also 10.6.8) and when I launched it for the first time, it asked for my App Store password because it had been "purchased" from a different computer. When I entered that info, the App Store version would run on the second computer. A recursive diff between the .app hierarchies showed only the Contents/_MASReceipt/receipt file was different. I tried deleting the original file but it still wouldn't launch. – Kent Nov 12 '15 at 10:30
  • @klanomath If anything we would close the newer question as a duplicate of this. Let's see how things shake out. BBEdit has a great support article and we can merge/combine these once it's clear that everyone is back in business with all the permutations (gatekeeper on/off/half on, etc...) – bmike Nov 12 '15 at 20:24
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    @bmike I obviously didn't realize how far-reaching this problem would be when I wrote the question yesterday morning (now, already Friday 13th in Japan!). I was just happy to know that I wouldn't have to update my stubborn OS just to be able to continue editing all the files I had been working on in TW the day before. I'll leave the merge/duplicate decision to the experts; but, I'm ok with whatever outcome results from the meta discussion. Frankly, I'm more concerned about the implications of a covert "subscription" model for apps in the App Store, – Kent Nov 12 '15 at 23:20

TextWrangler is also available outside the Mac App Store, and older versions which are compatible with Snow Leopard and Lion can be downloaded from BareBones website

This standalone version launches without complaining about being damaged, regardless of the date (so far?).

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