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How to make your "damaged" Mac applications work again

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If you see "damaged" applications on your Mac, you are not alone. A big mistake in digital rights management at Apple's Mac App Store on Wednesday, November 11 has left some applications unusable. When certain applications are opened, the following message may be displayed:

  • «(App Name)» is damaged and cannot be opened. Delete «(App Name)» and describe it again from the App Store.

The issue was caused by an outdated security certificate that expires on November 11. These certificates are issued by Apple to make sure you are running legitimate software on your computer and to prevent malware from running. The system can no longer validate certain application packages, so applications appear broken.

Fixing your damaged applications: Option # 1

Despite what the pop-up warning says, deleting and reinstalling applications is not the best way to do it. Instead, 9to5Mac recommends performing a quick restart of your Yosemite or El Capitan computer.

I have tried this trick on my MacBook Pro and it has worked perfectly. I still had to log in with my Apple ID to verify that the first "dead" application was legitimate, but it seemed valid for the rest of them.

Interestingly, the application that I deleted and reinstalled based on the suggestion of the Apple pop-up window before performing a restart had problems. The erasure (also emptied the garbage) had reappeared mgmically and worked well, but the one he reinstalled was broken. I'm still baffled by this.

Fixing your damaged applications: Option # 2

If you do not want to restart, application and website developer Craig Hockenberry suggests opening a Terminal window and using the following command instead:

$ killall -KILL storeaccountd

Do any of these tricks solve your problem?

It is really frustrating to see emerging warnings like this, since it sounds like a lot of work to fix, but in reality it is a very quick solution, if you don't follow Apple's advice. What method worked best for you?

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