MuseScore 3.3 can't be opened in macOS 10.15 Catalina

• Nov 8, 2019 - 23:18
Reported version
S1 - Blocker

I tried to download MuseScore 3.3 on a macOS Catalina and when I try to open the program, it gives me a message that says that it "can't be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software. This software needs to be updated. Contact the developer for more information". Any help please?


Workaround No Yes

See this FAQ section, to work around this issue you need to right-click MuseScore application and select "Open" in the pop-up menu. This happens due to the new security policies in MacOS Catalina, and many applications have not adapted to it yet.

Title MuseScore 3.3 can't be opened in mac MuseScore 3.3 can't be opened in macOS Catalina

And I believe this is not restricted to MuseScore 3.3, or is it?

In reply to by dmitrio95

What are the risks and issues about "malicious software" infesting my iOS. I'd rather not risk the integrity of my iMac. I'm sure other users know far more about software risks and issues than I, so please offer honestly helpful suggestions as to why MuseScore hasn't worked out the problem.

Is MuseScore working to rectify the incompatibility issue and remove the risk of male-ware infestation on iMac's? Not too conformable with "work-arounds" that essentially "by-pass" security feature designed to protect my iMac integrity.

with one mouse button I guess. It is the 'secondary click', however that is set up for your Mac, 2 finger swipe, Ctrl+cloc, os something like that

> This did not help me. I still get the malware response

Right-click + Open should indeed open the same warning dialog but this time it should have an "Open" button which would allow to run the application.

That is true and a well known fact, and the reason for the major version number change.
Export as MusicXml in MuseScore 3, import that in MuseScore 2

What specifically went wrong when you tried those steps? We are trying to help, and those steps seem to have worked for others. If there is something unique about your system causing it not to work for you, we need you assistance in helping us figure that out. So could you please tell us what specifically went wrong when you followed those steps?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

following the thread you suggested, I was able to open MuseScore 3 but could not open past files. I got a red stop sign with an exclamation mark and the message: Cannot read file/Users/rozgnatt/Desktop/A Service of Lessons and Carols/My soul gives glory to the Lord.mscz: Operation not permitted
Can I remove MS3 without further injuring my many score files?

You need to give MuseScore an access to your disk or at least to folders which contain the necessary files. This is due to the new security policies enforced by Apple in the new Catalina system and does not depend on MuseScore 3 at all. The only thing MuseScore can do is to embrace a procedure of notarizing applications by Apple so no "malicious software" warning pops up, but this will not remove the requirement to give an access to folders which you need MuseScore to be able to operate on.

Thanks for the info but i have no idea what you're talking about - at least in terms of how I allow MuseScore access to my files. Over 20 years ago I went to Mac so I could concentrate on things other that computer programming stuff. If you could tell me how I go about giving MuseScore access to my disc or folders, that would be great - I think...

In reply to by rozgnatt

Catalina is very different in this way. It is not a MuseScore problem. You must go to (Apple) > System Preferences > Security and Privacy > Privacy, with Admin access, and add MuseScore to "full disk access" or specific folders as you want. Catalina demands your assent to mediate an application's desire to access your folders.

Thank you, BSG! Your instructions were clear and understandable to me - a non-computer-savy person.
MS 3 opened without a problem as soon as I added it and clicked the lock closed.

Hi guys. To install MuseScore in MacBook Pro Catalina you have to go to System Preferences > General > then click on the lock that is down on the left. After that you can click on > App Store and identified developers. Once you do that you should be able to see a chart that will say “Open Anyway.” So click on that on, and you must be able to use MuseScore.

Good luck!!

See also…

Catalina requires all apps that are signed with developer IDs to be 'notarized' by Apple

  1. Right-click and select "Open". This may bring up the same dialog, but with an option to Open the file anyway.
  2. You can get round this by removing the quarantine Extended Attribute on the file:
    xattr -d /path/to/file


Status by design active

The latter indicates actions is needed from the MuseScore developers.
The former gives a 2nd workaround (that command line)

Status active fixed

We have just completed notarization of 3.3.4 and 3.4-Beta versions of MuseScore. As MacOS Gatekeeper searches for notarization information online this issue should be already fixed for these versions. New versions will likely include notarization information bundled with .dmg image so MacOS could verify notarization even in the absence of Internet connection.

Therefore this issue can probably be considered fixed. Please report if you still have any issues with the recently released versions of MuseScore.

Not sure if this forum is closed or not, but this problem is very easy to take care of:
-Go to System Preferences
-Go to Security & Privacy
There should be a section towards the bottom labeled "Allow apps downloaded from:". If you have already tried opening up Musescore 3, it should be listed beneath the first two check boxes as an app Apple cannot open because it can't check for malicious content. There should be a button there allowing you to open it anyway, and it'll tell you again that it "isn't safe" because Musescore isn't made by one of its trusted developers. Go ahead and click open and you should be good to go.
Hope this helps somebody!

Fix version