Gatekeeper (OS X)

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Gatekeeper under OS X Mountain Lion
Developer(s) Apple Inc.
Preview release 1.0 (11D1069) / February 16, 2012; 3 years ago (2012-02-16)
Operating system OS X

Not to be confused with the third party extension Gatekeeper for the Classic MacOS put out by Chris Johnson in the 1990s

Gatekeeper[1][2] is an anti-malware feature[3][4] of the OS X operating system. It allows users to restrict which sources they can install applications from, in order to reduce the likelihood of inadvertently executing a Trojan horse. It is included with Mac OS X Lion 10.7.5,[5] and in OS X Mountain Lion and later versions of OS X


Users have three options to restrict the launching of applications:[6]

Mac App Store
Allows only applications downloaded from the Mac App Store to be launched.
Mac App Store and identified developers
Allows applications downloaded from the Mac App Store and applications signed by certified Apple developers to be launched. This is the default setting in Mountain Lion.
Allows all applications to be launched.

Gatekeeper can also be activated on Lion as of OS X 10.7.3 via the command line utility spctl.[7][8] The feature is similar to File Quarantine, which was introduced in Mac OS X Leopard.


  1. ^ "Gatekeeper keeps your Mac even safer.". OS X Mountain Lion. Apple Inc. Retrieved March 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ Siegler, MG (February 16, 2012). "Surprise! OS X Mountain Lion Roars Into Existence (For Developers Today, Everyone This Summer)". TechCrunch (AOL Inc.). Retrieved March 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ Chatterjee, Surojit (February 21, 2012). "OS X Mountain Lion Gatekeeper: Can it Really Keep Malware Out?". International Business Times. Retrieved March 3, 2012. 
  4. ^ Snell, Jason (February 16, 2012). "Mountain Lion: Hands on with Gatekeeper". Macworld. Retrieved March 3, 2012. 
  5. ^ "About the OS X Lion v10.7.5 Update". Apple Inc. Retrieved October 28, 2012. 
  6. ^ Mogull, Rich (February 16, 2012). "Gatekeeper Slams the Door on Mac Malware Epidemics". TidBITS. Retrieved March 3, 2012. 
  7. ^ Ullrich, Johannes (February 22, 2012). "How to test OS X Mountain Lion's Gatekeeper in Lion". Internet Storm Center. Retrieved July 27, 2012. 
  8. ^ "spctl(8) OS X Manual Page". Mac Developer Library. Retrieved July 27, 2012.