MacMost Now 455: Reinstalling Lost Mac Applications

If you have accidentally deleted an essential Mac application, like TextEdit, Preview, iCal, Address Book or the QuickTime Player, you can get it back without reinstalling your entire system. The packages for these files are on your Mac OS X installation disks. It is just a matter of knowing where to find them and how to get at some of the ones that are somewhat hidden.

Video Transcript
Hi this is Gary with MacHost Now. On this episode we're going to look at how to reinstall lost essential applications. So an essential application is one like iCal or Mail or Address Book or Text Edit. It's one of these applications that comes with Mac OS X and either comes installed with your Mac or installed when you used the system disk that came with your Mac or from a Snow Leopard disk that you bought separately. Of course your first method of restoring a lost application is to look on your time machine backup. It should have a backup of everything on your drive including applications. So you can go back to your original backup or one from several months ago and see if your application is there. If you haven't done a time machine backup, well, you should start right away but to get a lost application there are several other methods you can use right now.
Of course you should never delete these applications. You don't have to use them, but you should always keep them around because Mac OS X expects them to be there. If you've accidentally deleted them there are ways to get them back. You're going to need either the installation disk that came with your Mac or if you've upgraded, say to Snow Leopard, you're going to need that upgrade disk.
So here I've got the Mac OS X install DVD that came with my MacBook Pro that I'm showing you right now. I click on that and you can see I can install the entire Mac OS X there but that's not what I want to do. I want to go down to optional installs and under optional installs there is an optional installs package. I click on that, now I get to a screen here where I'm given several different choices and one of those is under applications. I can see that there are several different applications right there that you may need to reinstall if accidentally deleted them. And other ones down that you may need, here is Quicktime 7 for example which you will need if you want Quicktime Pro. You've also got languages and printer drivers here as well.
Now another option is to download a program called Pacifist. What Pacifist does is it looks inside of install disks and packages to find specific things to install. So after you first run it it will prompt you to select your installation DVD. You do that and then it brings up a list of contents. You can browse through here to find things that you want. For instance, you click under essential system software and then under the essential system software group and contents of essentials and you can find all these applications here including TextEdit or Stickies or something else you may need to install like Preview. You can then select that one and click install to install that specific thing. You can also do a search so if I want to search for TextEdit I would do it that way and then it would come up with all the different variations, you cab see that there are a bunch in different language packages and then I select the one that I want.
Now you can find these packages yourself with a little help from the terminal window. So the way to get there is cd to change directory and then instead of the DVD directory you can drag and drop there in to it. Now we can take a look at what I'm doing. I look there and I look at the files and I can see various things including System. I click there down into Installation and under Installation I can go into packages and and under Packages I can see a lot of the different Packages as well. The easiest way to get to these is to actually go up a level back to the Installation folder and do open Packages and of course open opens up a Finder window and then this Finder window shows you all the packages and you can install these larger packages for a lot of things here like these printer drivers, but for instance you could install the essentials package which has a lot of missing applications right there. If you install it and you want you can look at the log for the installer and see exactly which applications it installed and where.
Another thing you can do for the basic applications is simply reinstall the entire system. Now there is a misconception that doing this erases your entire hard drive. It doesn't at all. You can choose that option but you can also choose the more regular option of simply replacing the OS and essential applications so that's another option. So there are several different ways to get lost applications back onto your Mac. Until next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 16 Responses to “MacMost Now 455: Reinstalling Lost Mac Applications”

    Frank Kowal
    10/1/10 @ 6:08 pm

    I’ve been enjoying you for a couple of months now. Am learning and/or getting inspired but I got lost on this one.

    10/6/10 @ 5:58 pm

    How I get all softwares free for my Iphone.

      10/6/10 @ 9:33 pm

      Just run the App Store app and browse. A lot of the apps are free.

    4/12/11 @ 7:02 pm

    Oh, THAT’S what those yellow icon’s are. I didn’t even know they were called packages.
    Like I always say, I’m technologically impaired; I’m mostly joking, but there’s at least a grain of truth to it.

    7/30/11 @ 5:40 pm

    Wow, thanks for that. It’s been over a year and I only now sat down to figure this out and have all of my applications back without doing an entire system reboot of which I couldn’t have even done up to standard since time machine wasn’t even working. Thanks.

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    8/14/11 @ 10:12 am

    Like the answers above, Gary you describe in detail,about the applications. I am like the people up above. I went to the Cnet site,no go. Emails back and forward still no where near. I am not kidding your site is the only one,and that includes Apple that knows what Preview Application is all about. Example- Apple site i type in Preview Application Information.Type in Application Preview no go. You said it was a common word,which you are right, but from what i typed in, does not make it a common word. Thanks Gary

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    8/14/11 @ 11:47 am

    I have just been off the internet to install the Application Preview, but its not there.
    Could the reason be – I have Mac OS X 10.5.8 and the Application Preview was not pre installed. I followed everything on your tutorial. iTunes,Quicktime,and the rest are there in packages,but no sign of Preview. If so can you tell me how i can get it.
    I know now by your tutorial i can`t get it off the internet. Thanks Gary

      8/14/11 @ 11:57 am

      Preview is definitely there in Leopard (10.5.x). It should be in your Applications folder. Just do a Spotlight search for “Preview.”

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    8/14/11 @ 11:57 am

    I have just watched your tutorial again, its not upgraded to Snow Leopard is that why it has no Time Machine and no Preview Application?
    Thanks Gary

      8/14/11 @ 11:58 am

      Time Machine was introduced with Leopard, so you should have it. Preview was a standard component in Leopard too.

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    8/16/11 @ 12:53 pm

    I had another good luck around, looking at things very carefully, and i think i know why i have not got it. I started to look in detail about the Mac Mini,and i found out it was the Tiger version. I was only using it till my iMac came back from repair. Can i get this Tiger version upgraded. I have been told that it only upgrades to 2GB. I bought it in 2007 August.
    Thanks Gary

    10/17/11 @ 9:23 pm

    I can’t select any of the applications on the list. I want to reinstall mail I don’t know how I lost it but I’d like it back.

      10/17/11 @ 9:39 pm

      I would just do an OS X system restore from your original discs.

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    3/2/12 @ 10:40 am

    I have a Mac Mini mid 2007 version. I did what you described in your video. I could not find the Preview Application package. I would like to know was the Preview Application installed in this Mac Mini or did it come out at a later date,and that it was an application that was introduced later on Gary.

      3/2/12 @ 1:03 pm

      Preview has been around since Leopard and before. It would be in your Applications folder. But just search for it.

Comments Closed.