Fix VST cannot be opened / developer cannot be verified in MacOS Catalina, Big Sur, Monterey

Have you been hit with the ominous message that a VST “cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verfied” when trying to use plugins in MacOS after upgrading to Catalina (version 10.15), Big Sur (version 11) or Monterey (version 12)? Fear not, this video will help you fix it! And this fix will work, contrary to some other fixes involving using the Security & Privacy applet of System Preferences.

In the video I’m using Reaper to display the problem and the solution, but the fix is not related to Reaper and will work for any DAW that uses VST plugins.

UPDATE: I made an even easier tutorial in a new video:

I strongly recommend upgrading your OS, since it’s the best way to stay protected from viruses, malware and exploits. However, I know that a lot of musicians put off upgrading – sometimes forever. The reason is that you don’t know what will break, and Apple is notorious for introducing new security features or dropping legacy support that could affect your DAW or your plugins.

The protection against downloaded executables (Gatekeeper) got a lot stricter in MacOS Catalina, which has caused problems, particularly with VSTs. But with this solution you can upgrade and thereby stay safe, while continuing to use your VSTs.

Caution! Only use this fix on VSTs that you know can be trusted, with no viruses or malware.

00:00 The problem with VSTs in MacOS Catalina
02:41 The wrong solution
03:40 The correct solution
05:15 Some questions (and answers)
05:52 Outro – like and subscribe!

Equipment and software used:
– Reaper 6.50
– Davinci Resolve
– Pixelmator Pro
– iTerm2
– Canon EOS 760D


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  1. worked like a charm

  2. how do i open the .vst terminal

  3. How the fuck you open a TERMINAL?!

  4. The first method works if your DAW is Logic Pro X.

  5. Big thanks man. This saved me a lot of headache

  6. Thanks! (also works for Cubase)

  7. If xattr doesn't show anything, can that VST still be fixed?

    Thanks for this video!

  8. Thank you! Working like a charm.


  10. Hello sir! I m new on mac,and i don t have iterminal only terminal. U drag and drop the rar file with vst into terminal and then this commands? Because i cannot do it…Sorry! I put this in terminal and noting happen: MacBook-Pro-macOS:~ macos$ /Users/macos/Downloads/FabFilter Bundle/Patched/VST/FabFilter Pro-R.vst
    -bash: /Users/macos/Downloads/FabFilter Bundle/Patched/VST/FabFilter Pro-R.vst: is a directory. When i go back to reaper this show me: The application can’t be opened because apple cannot verify if this contain an malicious software. This software must be update. Contact the developer for more info.

    Update: i fix it,the vst it was for win maybe only with the au vst work in the end… Thanks a lot!

  11. Had to log in just to say thank you. Shout out to all the creators who post solutions to obscure problems, you the GOAT!

  12. it gives me…… 'Not enough arguments for option -d. Expected at least 2 but got 1' what can i do to fix this?

  13. how do we enter that type of terminal

  14. Many thanks!!!!!!!!! I do really appreciate your effort and kindness sharing this!!! BR!!!!

  15. Bought first mac (m1) and thought everything should be more plug and play than in my win10 system. NOT. Thanks for this video as it made possible to install couple freebies that I use all the time!

  16. thank you! TL;DW: cd /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST[3]/; sudo xattr -rd {thefile}.vst

  17. Thanks for doing this! It really helps explain the situation our very small business has found itself in to our customers and advise them on a workaround. Apple clearly want to crush us little guys and make a monopoly for the distribution of software. Cheers! – Mike/AQ

  18. I am glad you posted this video, BUT I have no idea how to point to the VST3 / AU directories in Terminal

  19. THank so much and subscribed!!! it worked exactly like you said. I'd like to add one thing tough, if you just type the name of the vst it might not work. so the solution is simply drag and drop the whole vet file inside the terminal instead write the name of the file. it gonna write down automatically the address location of the file then everything like you explained. Thanks again!

  20. Genius and it's ridiculous that it's this hard.

  21. its not working for me and its telling me my plugin isn't found

  22. Thanx for the tip it's really usefull and makes perfect sense.