Can I Copy An Application From One Mac To Another?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MVallee, May 12, 2008.

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  1. MVallee macrumors 6502a


    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Ok I have an iMac and a MacBook. My brother is getting a MacBook Pro for University and wants to be able to use the programs (Photoshop, Microsoft Office, etc.) on our iMac from time to time. The problem is the school gave him no install discs, they just copied a disc image to his drive.

    My question is, can you just copy applications from one computer to another? I know in Windows this was impossible, but on a Mac the applications seem to be more self-contained. I did copy one app successfully (Comic Life) but will doing the same work for all apps?
  2. soms macrumors 6502


    Dec 10, 2007
    I know PS puts some files in different spots, not just in the App folder, so it might/might not work; but with apps that are all in one folder it will.
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    Legally? No, not unless you have 2 licenses. Practically, yes for well behaved apps. Unfortunately Adobe apps, as noted above, stick stiff all over the place (are not well behaved). Office 2004 could be copied like that, not sure about 2008.
  4. bartelby macrumors Core


    Jun 16, 2004
    Don't some licenses allow for the app to be installed on one desktop and one laptop at the same time, as long as they belong to the same user.
    Or did I imagine that?
  5. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    Some do. I would count that as 2 licenses for this purpose. Adobe Creative Studio and Aperture are 2 I can think of with that wording.

    But this is for a single user. It is not legal for 2 distinct users to be using the 2 copies at once.
  6. operator207 macrumors 6502

    Jul 24, 2007
    I am thinking that the Office apps will not work if you do that. I remember for Office 2004 that there is a "authorization" file that is hidden in some directory. If you mess with it at all, you are no longer authorized. I would imagine if you do not have the file, the same applies.

    If these are Student editions, you might just get them to install it on the iMac. If you ask, I would think they could give you a CD to install with. Also, if he still has that install file, he should be able to transfer it to the other Mac. Obviously, all of this is once you verify that it can be installed on more than one device used by only one user, and be done legally.
  7. carlncube macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2009
    I use a macbook which went bust a minute ago

    I want to transfer the only bckup I used using time machine, thats my work and software onto another mac I use. Is there no way of doing that?:eek:
  8. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    applications that are installed via installers will not work as the apps have lots of other files stored around. however applications that are installed via 'drag-n-drop' will work fine. but if its a licensed app you will have to re-enter the serial number.
  9. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Or sometimes copying the preferences file works too.
  10. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    nope those sorts of apps cant be transfered, normally anyways..
  11. leodavinci0 macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2006
    Yes you can drag and drop Photoshop and Micorsoft Office

    Just to clarify out of all the responses, I have successfully transferred Photoshop CS and Microsoft Office 2004 from one mac to another, and it ran. Actually I have copied copies and so on as well. It works fine, but for some reason on one of the computers an error would pop up when opening each; it would run fine though after closing the error window. Even though Office uses an installer, what it installs is not necessary for it to run. You will need the key for Photoshop too, btw.
  12. eVolcre macrumors 68000


    Jan 7, 2003
    Doesn't setting up as a 'new mac' let you transfer everything over via Time Machine?

    I remember that when I upgraded from Tiger to Leopard I used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone my Tiger machine. Once I did a clean install of Leopard, migration assistant brought everything over from the Tiger Clone and didn't ask me for any install or serial numbers of my applications.

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