Can I run Apps from External Drive?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ramus88, May 10, 2014.

  1. ramus88 macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2014
    Hey everyone,

    New MBP user here. I have SSD and low storage so I am thinking of moving larger, less used application into my external hard drive.

    Items I am considering are Keynote, iMovie, iPhoto, Pages, Numbers, and various Adobe softwares except Acrobat and Flash player.

    Can I just drag and move these into the external hard drive and plug in the hard drive whenever I would like to use them?

    How can I tell if an app is able to be functioning like this?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    Yes you can do that. Most of the applications within the Applications folder can be moved and launched from anywhere.
  3. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    I have an SSD boot drive and another internal 1TB HDD, I moved larger/less used Apps to the 1TB HDD and used a symlink to the standard Apps folder. That way you still see and launch ALL Apps from the Applications folder or Launchpad but you save the space on the SSD at the cost of normal HDD launch times when you do use those Apps.

    Works great, no reason why this wouldn't work with the Apps on an external drive.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    As others said, its possible. I've done it, in times past.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    The apps should -run- without problems -- the only glitch I could see is where some might require a software-based password or key that will get confused when you first launch the app. This should be "fixable", however.

    Also -- if you move some Apple apps out of the "Applications" folder on your boot drive, you might find that Software Update has trouble locating them when an update is available. Just something to be aware of.

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