I am attempting to use an unsigned app. However, the options are grayed out under "Allow apps downloaded from". I did click the lock to unlock it, but still grayed out. I am an admin on my machine.

Is there a way that I can change that setting by editing a file?

  • On a Mac your admin privileges are either total or none, there is no finer delineation unless you are part of a corporate structure or subject to parental controls. If you can click the lock & provide the necessary credentials, you can change the setting.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 11, 2016 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


Log in as Administrator; unlock the SystemPreferences->Security&Privacy Applet (left bottom), then click the General tab when it is not already chosen: check the middle Allow line. Hold the Alt/Option key while selecting/opening the App.

  • Let me rephrase. I have some administrator privileges. I do not however, have the Administrator password. I do believe though, that that setting should be in a file somewhere. Given that I have root (through sudo), I should be able to edit it, yes?
    – Kramer
    Jul 5, 2016 at 8:30

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