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Mac App Icons Crossed Out And Won't Run

Updated on Thursday, May 16, 2024

iBoysoft author Amanda Wong

Written by

Amanda Wong
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee


Reason&Fixes for Mac App Icon Crossed-Out

In addition to the system apps that come with macOS, Apple allows you to install apps on Mac from the Mac App Store and even third-party developers. All installed apps on your Mac should run once you click on the app icons. Unexpectedly, some app icons are found to be covered with a crossed-out symbol, and Mac won't run the apps normally.

mac app icon crossed out

Read on to know more about the Mac app icon crossed-out problem.

Why are some Mac app icons crossed-out

I upgraded to Mountain Lion 10.2 (OS X 10.8.2) from Snow Leopard (10.6.8) a couple days ago. The upgrade occurred on a iMac that was previously running Snow Leopard (10.6.8). I've noticed that within in my "Applications" folder, some apps (icons) are crossed-out and dimmed... although, most actually work.

Chrome logo is crossed out for some reason in notifications (Monterey) Any help?

Quite a lot of Mac users encounter the crossed-out app icons on their Mac even on the last few macOS versions such as macOS Ventura and macOS Monterey. This is the so-called "You can't run this application" icon. When you see an app with a crossed-out symbol on top of it, it means Mac won't run it.

The reasons behind the crossed-out Mac app icon could be:

  • The app is created for a different architecture.
  • The app bundle is broken or incorrect.
  • The app is untrusted or not approved to run yet.

How to deal with Mac app icons crossed-out

Perhaps the crossed-out app is the one you need for your work, then it could be troublesome if the app won't run on your Mac. In most cases, the Mac app becomes crossed out due to the different architecture. With the release of macOS 10.15 Catalina in October 2019, 32-bit software can no longer be executed on the OS. That's why the 32-bit applications are covered with a crossed-out symbol in Finder, Launchpad, and the Dock after updating to macOS Catalina or later. If you attempt to run it, an error message pops up:

crossed out app error message

As we have explained before, there are some other causes for the crossed-out app icons on your Mac. Now, you can apply the fixes below to troubleshoot the issue, all scenarios are covered here.

1. Update the crossed-out app

With the release of a new macOS version, app developers usually keep their applications updated to date so that they are compatible with macOS and deliver more excellent performance. Therefore, you should check whether there is an available update for the application after updating macOS, either via the developer's website or the Mac App Store. 

If you can't update a 32-bit app:

  • Look for an alternative. Perhaps, the 32-bit app installed on your Mac hasn't a 64-bit version, then you could find an alternative application with the same functions. 
  • Downgrade macOS. You can downgrade macOS to Mojave so that you can continue to run 32-bit applications on Mac. 
  • Use a virtual machine for Mac. You can virtually run an earlier version of macOS within the most recent version of macOS with the help of virtualization software like Parallels. 

2. Uninstall and reinstall the app

The app package could be damaged due to various reasons such as it contains malware, it is unsigned, you accidentally delete its configuration files, and so forth. You may find the app crossed out or receive the message "App is damaged and cannot be opened," then, uninstalling the app on Mac and reinstalling it may work.

Try iBoysoft MagicMenu to uninstall any app on your Mac with a right-click!

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