I recently upgraded macOS to Big Sur and now I can't open SQLDeveloper.app. I am getting this message:

SQLDeveloper.app can’t be opened because the identity of the developer cannot be confirmed

With macOS Catalina it was working perfectly.

A similar question was discussed here “SQLDeveloper.app” can’t be opened because the identity of the developer cannot be confirmed. I already followed the approach mentioned there, but that did not solve my problem.

Any pointer towards the solution would be highly appreciated.

5 Answers 5


I confirm, there is a problem with this app on Big Sur. I'm guessing it's because of some changes around java_home app in MacOS 11.

I have a workaround to start SQL Developer from a command line:

jhartman@MBP ~ % /Users/jhartman/Downloads/SQLDeveloper.app/Contents/Resources/sqldeveloper/sqldeveloper/bin/sqldeveloper

 Oracle SQL Developer
 Copyright (c) 2005, 2018, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

/Users/jhartman/Downloads/SQLDeveloper.app/Contents/Resources/sqldeveloper/sqldeveloper/bin/../../ide/bin/launcher.sh: line 885: /usr/lib/exec/java_home: No such file or directory

(despite the error, SQL Devel starts)

Tested on sqldeveloper-, update the command above with location of your SQLDeveloper.

If you have time, worth to raise an SR on http://support.oracle.com/

  • Unfortunately, it did not solve my problem. When I ran above, I got a pop-up message with “SQLDeveloper.app” can’t be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software., After Okaying this message, in the terminal I get : zsh: killed
    – Bogaso
    Nov 21, 2020 at 22:21
  • I wonder what these so called big software companies do during their fancy beta testing phases
    – Bogaso
    Nov 21, 2020 at 22:22
  • If you can try again: -select SQL Developer in Finder and choose Open (not just double click - choose Open from the menu to approve the app) and then -try start from terminal as above.
    – Jarek
    Nov 21, 2020 at 22:53
  • Launch terminal app

  • Run the following command to list your Java Versions:

    /usr/libexec/java_home -V
  • From the output, the one that is causing the issue is:

"Oracle Corporation" - "Java" /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin/Contents/Home"

You'll need to remove this by typing in the following command:

 sudo rm -rf "/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin/"
  • Verify the currently set java_home path and update it as per sqldeveloper version you have installed

    sudo vi $HOME/.sqldeveloper/20.4.0/product.conf
  • Add following entry if its not already added (you may need to change as per version)

    SetJavaHome /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.8.0_221.jdk/Contents/Home

Working fine for me with sql developer 20.4 on Mac OS Big Sur

  • 2
    Thanks! Just removing the JavaAppletPlugin.plugin was enough to get things working for me. Mac defaults to the other JDK installation once the plugin is removed. This can be beneficial if you want to have SQLDeveloper (or any other apps for that matter) use whatever JDK is currently the latest on your machine.
    – iansari
    Mar 17, 2021 at 16:09
  • @sql-no you are a genius. Your solution really worked for me as well. Thanks a lot!!!
    – Someone
    Jun 22, 2021 at 6:56

You need to update JavaHome inside your product.conf file of SQL Developer and it will work.

File location: /Users/<your-user-name>/.sqldeveloper/19.2.1/product.conf

Update the line with a JDK less than 11. In my case, it is:

SetJavaHome /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/<your_jdk_version_dir>/Contents/Home

Building on sql-no's answer, I removed the JavaAppletPlugin.plugin from my internet plugins directory and bypassed the macOS Gatekeeper to open the app.

  1. Remove the plugin:
    sudo rm -rf "/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin/"
    Alternatively, If sudo rm -rf makes you as uncomfortable as it should you can also:
    "Go to the folder" with (Command + Shift = G) and move it to the trash.

    enter image description here
  2. Bypass the macOS Gatekeeper by forceing SQLDeveloper.app to open even though it was not downloaded from the App Store or on Apple’s pre-approved list. To do this, right-click (or Control+click) on SQLDeveloper.app, then choose Open from the contextual menu. (You may need to agree once to proceede with the open. I didn't take a screenshot the first time through) enter image description here

There are 2 ways, I am able to open SQL Developer application on Mac with Catalina and BigSur OS.

Before this, you need to find the location where SQL Developer App is present in your Mac. To find this :

  1. Go to Finder
  2. Search SQLDeveloper
  3. Do a right click
  4. Click on get Info. By doing this you will get the location. In my case it is : /Users/rohiagra/Downloads/SQLDeveloper.app I will refer this $SQLDeveloper_Home directory in below illustration.

Now Below are the 2 ways through which you can open SQL Developer:

  1. Open your terminal and go to following directory

    i. cd $SQLDeveloper_Home/Contents/Resources/sqldeveloper

    ii. sh sqldeveloper.sh

  2. Open your terminal and go to following directory

    i. cd $SQLDeveloper_Home/Contents/Resources/sqldeveloper/sqldeveloper/bin

    ii. ./sqldeveloper

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