How to Bypass the Gatekeeper Error for Zig on macOS

If you've recently tried to run zig on your macOS and encountered the error message stating "can't be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software," you're not alone. This issue arises because Apple's Gatekeeper cannot verify the software's integrity. However, there's a simple workaround to bypass this check by removing the quarantine attribute. Here's how you can do it:

Steps to Remove the Quarantine Attribute

  1. Launch Terminal:

    • Open Finder.

    • Navigate to Applications > Utilities.

    • Double-click Terminal to open it.

  2. Remove the Quarantine Attribute:

    • In Terminal, type the following command but do not press Enter yet:

         xattr -d
    • Now, open the folder where the zig CLI tool resides (e.g., your Desktop folder).

    • Drag and drop the zig CLI tool into the Terminal window. This action will automatically insert the file path of the tool into the command.

  3. Execute the Command:

    • The full command should now look something like this:
         xattr -d /Users/cooper/Desktop/zig-macos-aarch64-0.13.0/zig
    • Press Enter to execute the command.

By removing the attribute, you are allowing the CLI tool to bypass Gatekeeper's verification, which should allow you to run the zig CLI without encountering the error message.

Why Does This Happen?

macOS uses a security feature called Gatekeeper, which helps protect your Mac from malware and other malicious software. When you download an app from the internet, Gatekeeper quarantines it until it can verify the app's integrity. However, some legitimate apps, like zig, may not be recognized, causing the error.


This quick workaround should help you get zig up and running on your macOS without any issues. Always ensure that you download software from trusted sources to avoid potential security risks. If you encounter any further issues, feel free to reach out to the app developers for more information.

Tags: #macOS #Zig #Gatekeeper #MalwareProtection #QuarantineAttribute #TechTips #Programming