Research IT

MacOS Notarization Service

Use of the University of Manchester Apple Developer Account to notarize your MacOS apps so they are permitted to run on versions of Mac OS after Catalina.

Service Description

In February 2020, Apple introduced a set of app notarization policies for any app distributed on MacOS outside the Mac App Store. These policies are enforced by the MacOS Gatekeeper software which performs a check on an app package before attempting to run it. This check is designed to ensure the app has come from the original developer and that it meets security standards.

In order to make this guarantee, apps must be first submitted by the developer to Apple’s “Notarization Service” which scans the app for security issues and malicious code. This is a similar process that apps submitted to the Mac App Store undergo and thus, notarization aims to ensure users can download and install apps with a similar level of confidence as they would if they had downloaded them from the store. Once an app has undergone notarization successfully, when opened for the first time on a Mac, Gatekeeper checks the app’s signature with the notarization service and, if permitted by the service, the app is allowed the run. If you are offline, it is also possible to “staple” a notarization “ticket” to the app itself during the notarization process, verifying that it has been notarized.

Charging Model

This service can be performed on a "best efforts" basis where your request will be added to the MDS queue and dealt with in order. If your request is urgent it can be prioritised for a charge of £125.


You can email the MDS team directly.

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