A 5-step Quick Guide to Fix Unknown Publisher Security Error!

A 5-step Quick Guide to Fix Unknown Publisher Security Error!

Imagine downloading software and installing it on your device only to see a security warning error. However, if you are a software publisher, such a warning means a loss of user trust. Therefore, security warnings are not an excellent sight to witness whether you are a user or a publisher. One way to ensure that such errors do not appear in your applications is to use a Code Signing certificate.

According to Forbes, there was a 15.1% rise in cyberattacks and data breaches compared to 2020. Therefore, securing your application experience becomes a critical factor that can affect business outcomes. However, code-signed apps get an extra layer of security through encryption. It also allows users to verify the publishers’ identity, which automatically avoids the unknown publisher error.

So, how does a Code Signing certificate secure your apps and solve the problem of unknown publisher errors? Here we will discuss the top ways to fix it. Nevertheless, first, let us understand how it occurs!

How Does Unknown Publisher Security Error Occur?

An unknown publisher error in which the user’s device cannot verify a software developer’s identity. Each OS or browser has a list of specific verified software publishers, which is matched when a user requests data. If verification fails, you will see a window showing how the software publisher is unknown, and you should avoid installing it.

How Does Unknown Publisher Security Error Occur?


As you can see in the image above, whenever you try to install software on your device, there will be a prompt showing whether the publisher is verified or not. Every operating system or browser will have software publisher’s names and details to match for verification pre-built in the system. Therefore, they can compare it easily.

If you are using a Windows PC, it comes with a built-in antivirus program called “Windows Defender.” It secures your PC from installing software from unknown publishers or those that are not secure.

Enterprises looking to improve users’ trust need to put extra effort into securing the experience of their software. An EV Code Signing certificate is different from another digital certification process. It requires extended validation from a certificate authority for issuance of the Code Signing certificate, making it far more trustworthy.

As an enterprise, you must provide more documents and details to a certificate authority for EV Code Signing certificates. Here are some facts that you need to provide for the vetting process,

  • Company’s legal name
  • Organization’s registration address and proof
  • Location of operational headquarters
  • Legal opinion letter
  • Bank confirmation letter
  • Government ID proof if you are an individual
  • Enrollment form
  • Telephonic verification

Fixing your error is easy with an EV Code Signing certificate. However, there are other ways to resolve such an error. Let us discuss some of them.

Top ways to solve unknown publisher error

Many different types of errors can occur while you install the software. However, an unknown publisher is a standard error with many ways to solve it.

Making changes in the registry

One of the reasons for unknown publisher errors can be corrupted files. So, before you decide to get Code Signing certificate, check whether files are corrupt or not. An easy way is to make a few changes in the registry simply.

Open a command prompt on your device and right-click to see a new sub-menu open. Now choose the option “run as administrator.” Now type “sfc /scannow” and hit enter. Once you enter the command in cmd, a scanning process will begin. At the end of the scanning process, reboot the device and see if the problem is resolved.

Change user account settings.

User account settings can control the activities of applications and software installed on the device. In addition, it helps in protecting the device from malware and allows organizations to deploy highly managed desktops.

In other words, UAC monitors each app and software, restricting access to data based on privileged access. Therefore, if your software does not have access provided by UAC, it will show the error of an unknown publisher.

UAC blocks the automatic installation of any software from unknown publishers and unauthorized apps. It allows all device users to log into their accounts and launch processes using tokens. In addition, users can provide rights to processes and execute specific tasks.

For example, Windows apps inherit special rights for tasks they need to execute. However, apps not designed according to the security requirements of the operating systems require special permission. The system firewall blocks apps without proper authentication and special access authorization to make changes to the device.

The best way to ensure such errors does not occur is to make changes in UAC and provide administrator privileges for specific access. Here are the steps to change the UAC settings to avoid unknown publisher errors,

  • Go to the control panel and find the option “system and security.”
  • Now select the “user account settings” in the action center
  • Choose the “never notify” option and activate it

It is important to note that you need to have a powerful anti-virus program on the device to avoid exposure of the system to unauthorized apps once you change UAC settings.

Code sign your software.

If you are an enterprise, user trust is key to success. According to Accenture, 62% of customers are attracted to companies with higher ethical values. Therefore, if your software indicates unauthorized access or a security warning, it can create customer trust issues.

An EV Code Signing certificate ensures that a trustworthy certificate authority verifies your software. As a result, customers can confirm their identity before downloading or installing the software. It also ensures that the software’s source code is intact and that there are no man-in-the-middle attacks.

How does a Code Signing certificate secure your software?

A Code Signing certificate uses encryption to ensure that executable files remain secure. Further software files are also timestamped and hashed, which enables advanced security. Timestamping ensures that publishers can use certificates even after it is expired.

Further hashing ensures that file data is secure, as it is hard for hackers to crack hashed information without brute force attacks. You can buy Code Signing certificates from trustworthy CAs like Comodo, GoDaddy, Sectigo, and DigiCert.

Create a certificate signing request or CSR to a CA to enroll in a Code Signing process. Once a CA verifies your organization’s credentials, it will issue the certificate.

Bypassing the error message

Bypassing the error message can be a problematic approach for your device. However, if you still want to bypass the error message, here are the steps,

  • Open the command prompt.
  • Right-click and run as administrator
  • Type in the file path and hit enter to bypass the error message

Edit the untrusted publisher’s list

Every browser has a list of untrusted publishers; one way to avoid errors is to remove your software. You can remove the name from the browser’s list by accessing the internet options. Now go to the content tab and access the certificates option. You will find a list of untrusted publishers where you can edit your organization’s name.


Users’ trust has a massive impact on business revenues. If customers do not trust your software, converting leads to sales becomes difficult. Here we have discussed ways to ensure that your software does not face the unknown publisher error. However, which method to use will depend on the specific requirements of your software and security needs. Also, if you want to buy a Code Signing certificate for your apps, feel free to comment below for more information.