MacMost Now 236: Reintsalling Lost Applications

Find out how to replace applications that you may have accidentally deleted from your Mac.

Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 236: Reintsalling Lost Applications.

Gary Rosenzweig: Hi! This is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode, let's look at how to recover an application you've accidentally deleted. OK. So suppose you accidentally delete some applications from your Mac. How do you get them back? Well, there are several different ways, and it depends on where you got the application from.
The first thing you want to do, though, is check to see if you really deleted the application. For instance, a lot of Mac users think they deleted the application by simply removing it from the dock. You can simply add an application back to the dock by looking in your applications folder or in some cases your applications utility folder, and dragging the application into the dock, which will put an alias there.
Now if the application really is missing from the applications folder or wherever it's supposed to be, then you need to reinstall it. If it's a third party application, what you want to do is find the install disk that you got when you purchased the application. Now if you downloaded the software, you may have gotten an install package, which hopefully you did not throw away.
If you did, you can log back onto that vendor's website and usually find a way to redownload the installer if you already purchased the application. The registration code that you got with a downloadable piece of software will still work even when you reinstall the software. If you're still having trouble, contact that vendor directly. Usually they have some support information at their site. Explain what happened, and ask them how you can get the application back on your machine.
But how about Apple applications? Well, if it's truly missing, what you need to do is you need to find the disks that came with your Mac. Hopefully, you still have them. It's vitally important that you keep those safe somewhere where you can find them easily.
After you enter the DVD, you'll see the large icon that allows you to start your reinstall of Mac OS X. Don't go there quite yet. But instead, look for the folder called Optional Installs. When you go in there and you run the program that you find inside there, you'll see that you have a chance to reinstall one of many different applications that comes with your Mac.
You can deselect everything else in just that one application to get a reinstall of just that one thing. Now if the application isn't listed there, then you may need to do a full reinstall of Mac OS X. Now this will just restore the Mac OS X that's on your machine. It won't actually delete the documents that you have there, though it's always a good idea to do a backup before doing one of these restores or reinstalls.
Another thing to consider is if you're using Time Machine to back up your entire drive, then you have a backup of the application you deleted. You need to go back in time far enough to when the application was there and drag it from the applications folder in your Time Machine backup to your applications folder on your current machine.
If you don't have a Time Machine backup, and you can't find your original installation disks, then you might be in a little bit of trouble. One thing you can do is call Apple or stop by an Apple store and see if they'll help you. If you registered your Mac like you should when you buy it, then there's reports that sometimes they supply you with new disks for a little bit of a fee. Other times, though, I've heard that you don't get anything from Apple.
One option is to buy a new version of the OS. So go out and buy Mac OS X for a little over $100 at Amazon or an Apple store, and reinstall your OS from there. You may not get your iLike applications back that way, but you can get a lot of the basic applications like iCal and mail in such back with a fresh install like that. So hopefully that helps you out if you've actually deleted an application. 'Til next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Also see episode 455 for an up-to-date version of this tutorial focusing on reinstalling essential Mac applications that you may have accidentally deleted.

Comments: 5 Responses to “MacMost Now 236: Reintsalling Lost Applications”

    8 years ago

    Hello, I downloaded Ice clean to clean up some folders and junk on my Mac, and somehow I deleted all my desktop icons, bookmarks and other apps like my lightroom. Can you tell me how I can find out if any of this is reversible?

      8 years ago

      You may want to call their support and ask them. I don’t know what that program really did.
      But if it is just shortcuts that have been deleted, you can always re-create them one-by-one.

    7 years ago

    Some of the applications i had, for example microsoft office got deleted in every user exept on the admin, some applications as migration assistance some how was deleted

    Teresa Giambrone
    7 years ago

    I had an icon in my dock that when I clicked on it I could do an envelope, or a letter… it’s gone. I don’t know what happened to it; Can you help e get it back?
    I don’t remember what it’s called.

      7 years ago

      Are you talking about Mail, the Mac email program?
      For any application that you want to add to your Dock, just go to the Applications folder on your drive. Find that application. And then drag it to the Dock to create a shortcut for it there.

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