Way around Apple's strict security when installing plugins on Catalina

So if your one of those poor souls who hastily upgraded, despite all warnings not to, to the audio apocalyptic Catalina, and are having problems installing plugins this post may be for you. Sometimes when dragging & dropping plugins into the mac’s plugins folder, there can be an error like ‘move this plugin to the trash’ or something similar, making those plugins unworkable. Getting around this, basically involves disabling Apple’s security (Gatekeeper) temporarily while you install your plugins, then re-enabling the security. The exact steps below involve Apple’s terminal (found in Utilities, or cmd+space and type terminal). This is probably dangerous if your getting plugins from un-reputable sources, so don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

  • In terminal, disable Catalina’s Gatekeeper by typing ‘sudo spctl --master disable’ (without quotes)

  • Install any “problem” plugins, the usual way

  • Scan & open plugins in your daw

  • Re-enable Gatekeeper in terminal by typing ‘sudo spctl --master-enable’

I’ve tried this with two plugins, that didn’t work before (A1 stereo control & Voxengo’s Marvel GEQ) and had success. I’m not sure if this will work with installers or non notarized plugins. Try at your own risk & be sure to re-enable Gatekeeper when your finished.