Appeasing the Gatekeeper


How do I get my apps to appease the Gatekeeper ? The Keymaster maybe ? HA! (Ghostbusters)
Anyway they are not distributed in the app store so thats not an issue. Just want to avoid the “can’t be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software.” for users.

Is there a step by step guide ? If I can do it myself with out 3rd party tools would be nice.
Never done this before so I don’t know what to do.


Only one way, get an Apple Developer account (99usd/year).

You’ll need to notarize your app, which also means you need to sign your app.

See @Sam_Rowlands AppWrapper for that, but yes, you’ll need an Apple Developer account for all that.

I see. Would the free version of Apple Dev account work ?

There is no ‘free’ Apple developer account.
Just pay 99$ and move on…

Well, sort of is… with “Sign In with Your Apple ID” one. Thought it seems its rather limited, maybe not a “real dev account”…

Anyway since my apps are free, its hard to justify $99/year just to sign my apps to appease the Gatekeeper. Oh well no biggie. I can live with it for now. :sunglasses:


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I’ve been in the same boat. My apps are also free but I’ve been pushed by Apple to buy an Apple account to notarise my apps. I hesitated, true, but I don’t regret my “choice”. I’m more confident my apps are trusted by users. Also, that’s not so expensive, when you compare to similar things (see a Windows certificate, for instance…).

You mean the Authenticode certificates that are cheaper than Apple’s developer program?

Hmm… If memory serves me right, the cheap solution on this page just helps with SmartScreen. Some of my users still saw SmartScreen prohibitions and I had to explain them how to bypass them.
It has later been said in this forum that the “only” way (at that time) to properly avoid SmartScreen was the expensive certificates.

They really aren’t if you consider time and frustration as part of the cost.

You’ll have to ask OP, as they’re the one who asked for a low-or-no-cost solution and was told by multiple people “oh it’s not that expensive”. Neither response was helpful once they said that.

As someone who’s had to manage costs and navigate what things can be reduced, I’m a little ticked at the insensitivity.