Why Are There Two Applications Folders?

If you have ever looked in your Applications folder to find nothing in there, or almost all of your apps missing, that is because you can have an Applications folder in your user Home folder as well as at the main hard drive level. Most applications will install to the main hard drive level, making them available to all user accounts on the Mac. But if you look in the wrong Applications folder, it can cause confusion.

Comments: 5 Responses to “Why Are There Two Applications Folders?”

    Lynda Farabee
    8 months ago

    I had noticed that Gary, but never quite understood. Thanks for a great explanation.

    Bill Tomlinson
    8 months ago

    Thanks Gary. Can apps be moved between these two Applications folders, or do they have to remain where they were installed?
    Bill T.

    8 months ago

    Bill: I wouldn’t do that unless you have a good reason. Typically you want apps in you system applications folder. Not sure how LanchPad and the App Store will react if you move things around.

    Gregory Jones
    8 months ago

    The user app folder is a good place for those things you don’t want anybody else using/ accessing — like your personal accounting , taxes, password manager, deep utilities —-

    8 months ago

    Gregory: Deep utilities, yes, perhaps. But if that is a concern, perhaps the other user accounts on your Mac should be Standard and not Admin accounts. As for accounting and passwords, those should still be in the system Applications folder. Other users can use the apps, but they would be accessing their own documents and data with them, not the documents and data stored in your Home folder.

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