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Old May 6, 2013, 10:26 AM   #1
dunderheid
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Empty Applications folder?

Hi,

Mysteriously, my Applications folder in my User folder is empty! And there is another Applications folder on the root level of my HD (SSD actually) which contains all my applications. Everything seems to be working normally, but I'm puzzled as to how this has happened.

Can I just move the Applications folder back into my home folder, overwriting the empty one, or might that cause problems?

I have repaired permissions and checked the disc - all reported as ok.

It's a Mac Mini 2.66 C2D running 10.6.8

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old May 6, 2013, 10:30 AM   #2
FreakinEurekan
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It's normal for that folder to be empty. Most applications are system-level, under the root applications folder. There are exceptions, but it's rare.
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Old May 6, 2013, 11:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunderheid View Post
Mysteriously, my Applications folder in my User folder is empty! And there is another Applications folder on the root level of my HD (SSD actually) which contains all my applications. Everything seems to be working normally, but I'm puzzled as to how this has happened.
That users Applications folder is not there on a default OS X installation, so either you added it yourself somewhere along the way, or an app you installed added it for you. If you don't have any apps installed in that folder you can just delete it.
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Old May 6, 2013, 11:07 AM   #4
KaraH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weaselboy View Post
That users Applications folder is not there on a default OS X installation, so either you added it yourself somewhere along the way, or an app you installed added it for you. If you don't have any apps installed in that folder you can just delete it.
It is the default to create them for earlier OS X versions, not sure about Lion and Mountain Lion. So if the system was upgraded it probably did not delete the folders (which you would not want it to do in case you used them).

I would be advise against deleting anything to do with the system without knowing why the folder was there. If you REALLY need the disk space an empty folder takes up you have bigger problems.
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Old May 6, 2013, 11:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraH;17235804[B
]It is the default to create them for earlier OS X versions[/B], not sure about Lion and Mountain Lion. So if the system was upgraded it probably did not delete the folders (which you would not want it to do in case you used them).

I would be advise against deleting anything to do with the system without knowing why the folder was there. If you REALLY need the disk space an empty folder takes up you have bigger problems.
No it is not, I used OS X from 10 beta all the way up to 10.5.8 and in those versions it was never there.
I skipped 10.6-10.7 and the first time I saw this is when Parallels created it on 10.8
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Old May 6, 2013, 11:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraH View Post
It is the default to create them for earlier OS X versions, not sure about Lion and Mountain Lion. So if the system was upgraded it probably did not delete the folders (which you would not want it to do in case you used them).
You are mistaken, I have used and installed every version of OS X that exists and that folder is not present on a default install. It can safely be deleted if no apps are presently installed there.
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Old May 6, 2013, 12:39 PM   #7
dunderheid
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Well, thanks for all your replies.

The Applications folder in my home users folder is empty. The Applications folder on my root level has all my applications. I'm beginning to think that it has been that way for a while and I just didn't notice it until today.

I think I'll just leave it all alone and not even bother to delete the empty folder in my user folder.

Jeez, I'm not exactly a noob having been using Macs since OS 7.5 (!!), but this had me puzzled.

So thanks again for helping me.

Best from Bonnie Scotland
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Old May 6, 2013, 12:42 PM   #8
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Some installers do ask if you want to install something for everyone of just the local user. Although I never could see why since rarely does one user want a piece of software and really care if others on their machine can run it (if they do they can set permissions on the file). In any case, SOMETHING in osx creates that folder and I remember it was already there when I got my first osx box. Maybe Apple does not use the standard installer options then?

In any case what I said I stand by my advice. Even if I would delete a seemingly useless system file/folder on my system I would not advise doing it on someone else owned until I knew why it was there. It is not like by being there it is really hurting anything.
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Old May 6, 2013, 12:59 PM   #9
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@KaraH, thanks. Only thing I can think of is that my apps have been on root level for a long time without me noticing. The Applications folder in my home folder has creation and mod. dates of 30/4/13 (sorry 4/30/13 for you Americans!) Just had a look and the Applications folder at root level was created 27th April 2009 (!), and modified 1st May 2013.

I think all this might be related to my recent installation (1st May) of Adobe CS6.

Oh well, don't ya just love computers! (when they're working!)

Thanks again to all replies. What would I do without MacRumors
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Old May 6, 2013, 04:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weaselboy View Post
That users Applications folder is not there on a default OS X installation, so either you added it yourself somewhere along the way, or an app you installed added it for you. If you don't have any apps installed in that folder you can just delete it.
It's there in 10.8 on my Mac Mini and my iMac, by default. The /Users/<myname>/Application/ folder is still empty on the Mini. I actually have a user application on the iMac, plus the iMac has Parallels running on it so there is a "Windows 7 Applications" folder in there from that.
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Old May 6, 2013, 05:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreakinEurekan View Post
It's there in 10.8 on my Mac Mini and my iMac, by default. The /Users/<myname>/Application/ folder is still empty on the Mini. I actually have a user application on the iMac, plus the iMac has Parallels running on it so there is a "Windows 7 Applications" folder in there from that.
If it is there, it was put there by some app installation after the default OS install. If you buy a new Mac and bring it home and make a user account there will be no Applications folder in the Users area. Same with a clean install of OS X.

Go to any of the "clean install" threads and ask users and you will see.

You can even test this yourself on your machine now. Go to Users & Groups and make a new test account then look and you will see there is no Applications folder under that user name.
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Old May 6, 2013, 07:02 PM   #12
dunderheid
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Hi, it's all becoming clear to me now. It must have been installing CS6 last week which put a new empty Applications folder in my home folder. I only noticed it today, and then I got a bit confused :-)

Looking at my backups my Applications folder was previously at root level, and so the appearance of the new one was definitely caused by the Adobe installation.

Checked my MacPro at work and my Apps folder is at root level there too along with another Apps folder in my home folder which contains windows applications related to Parallels, as mentioned above by FreakinEurekan.

So, it's been an up and down sort of day - though I was going mad earlier, but thanks to MacRumors members I've regained my sanity (as close as I normally get to sanity anyway :-)

Cheers everybody!
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Old May 7, 2013, 12:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraH View Post
Some installers do ask if you want to install something for everyone of just the local user. Although I never could see why since rarely does one user want a piece of software and really care if others on their machine can run it (if they do they can set permissions on the file). In any case, SOMETHING in osx creates that folder and I remember it was already there when I got my first osx box. Maybe Apple does not use the standard installer options then?

In any case what I said I stand by my advice. Even if I would delete a seemingly useless system file/folder on my system I would not advise doing it on someone else owned until I knew why it was there. It is not like by being there it is really hurting anything.
Some Installers indeed ask for everyone or just you, but no matter what the Application itself will be installed in Application, that is if there is an Application to install, most of the times it is supporting files which install for ALL users, example, a Preference pane which affects only you or ALL user, a good example for instance is MenuMeters, if you install for all Users this can be used by ALL Users instead of just you, it does not install an Application.
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Old May 7, 2013, 08:01 AM   #14
KaraH
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Thanks, the user folder can PROBABLY be deleted. I just hate telling someone to delete a potential system file because if something does need it the mess would be more of a headache than the small space it uses up.
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Old May 7, 2013, 08:09 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by KaraH View Post
Thanks, the user folder can PROBABLY be deleted. I just hate telling someone to delete a potential system file because if something does need it the mess would be more of a headache than the small space it uses up.
Many empty "system folders" can be deleted even when the system uses them, many will get recreated if the system needs them.

ExampleCaches, if this is empty and you delete it it will get recreated as soon as you restart and/or logout.
But, I do not recommend anyone to do this, only experienced users should/could do this.(A bootable backup is a needed)
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Old May 7, 2013, 10:41 AM   #16
KaraH
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Originally Posted by justperry View Post
Many empty "system folders" can be deleted even when the system uses them, many will get recreated if the system needs them.

ExampleCaches, if this is empty and you delete it it will get recreated as soon as you restart and/or logout.
But, I do not recommend anyone to do this, only experienced users should/could do this.(A bootable backup is a needed)
Exactly, there are a lot of things you can do at the command line to do fixes or optimizations if you know what you are doing. If you do not know though you could be in for a world of hurt. Basically I take the help desk approach - I play it conservative with my advice but break that rule all the time on my own systems. I figure if I get burned I know what most likely caused the problem is and have a backup.

I had to chuckle at a book I read on OS X. They summed up the terminal in one sentence saying you could crash your system with it.
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Old May 7, 2013, 01:52 PM   #17
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Just thought you would all like to know that I took the plunge and deleted the new empty Applications folder within my home folder. Happy to report no ill effects........
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