There is a security technique called whitelisting (available in Windows 7) that ensures that only specific applications and processes will run.

This is different from email whitelisting and only applies to applications running on an OS.

How can I implement whitelisting (apps) on OS X?

For example, I generally want to constrain apps to those allowed by the setting "Mac App Store and identified developers", but I would also like to run the IM app called Spark. OS X refuses to run that app with this setting and reports that the app is "damaged". I can change the setting to "Anywhere" and that will allow Spark to run. The problem is that will also allow all apps to run, some of which I might regret.

2 Answers 2


You can do this using the Allowed Apps settings in the Parental Controls System Preferences Control Panel: Screenshot of Parental Controls system preferences control panel


Go to System Preferences, then click on Security & Privacy. On the General tab, check Allow Applications Downloaded From: Mac App Store and Identified Developers.

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  • This approach is still too broad. I want to identify apps that are downloaded from the app store. Ideally also identify and control things not from the app store Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 6:03
  • There is also a Mac App Store setting. But I'm not sure what you mean by "identify." Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 6:05

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