Learn how to use Visual Studio Code in MacOS Catalina.

How to solve Visual Studio Code can't be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software in MacOS Catalina

With the introduction of the latest MacOS version (Catalina), this system requires all applications to be notarized by apple. So the current installation of VSCode still needs to be updated by Microsoft, however until that happens and unfortunately you are testing the new os and need to run VSCode, the solution for this problem though, is quite simple.

In this article we will show you how to bypass this issue using 3 options.

A. Move VSCode to Applications and open it through the context menu

As first option, you can simply move the VSCode application to the Applications directory of your Mac and then, simply do right click on the app and click on open:

Open Visual Studio MacOS Catalina

This will open the same exception window, however you should now see the option to open the application anyway. After that, the application should start without inconvenients:

VSCode on MacOS Catalina

B. Remove quarantine attribute from application using xattr

If through the easy way it didn't work, you can easily force the application to open normally removing the quarantine attribute that is added to file after the system tries to open it using xattr in the command line. Open the terminal and run the following command:

xattr -d com.apple.quarantine /Applications/Visual\ Studio\ Code.app

After removing the attribute, you should be able to open the application.

C. Open from Security & Preferences

Alternatively, you can open the app from the Security & Privacy window. To do this, go to your System Preferences and select Security & Privacy, the following window will appear:

Open App MacOS Catalina Anyway

In the general tab, you should see the Visual Studio Code application listed with the message that it's blocked. You can simply click on Open Anyway:

Open App Anyway MacOS

Happy coding !

Senior Software Engineer at Software Medico. Interested in programming since he was 14 years old, Carlos is a self-taught programmer and founder and author of most of the articles at Our Code World.