How do I install programs on an external hard drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jrm27, May 3, 2009.

  1. jrm27 macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    In order to save space on my laptop, I'd like to install a bunch of my lesser used programs on an external hard drive (Plex, Grageband, imovie, etc...) I don't really know how to do that. It seems that so many programs need to be installed on the same drive as the OS. Can anyone help me? Point me in the right direction?

    am I going to have to learn how to "symlink" (whatever that means) for applications like garageband?
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    Most of the main apps need to be where they are, and moving them can break them.
  3. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    You could certainly put programs that simply have you drag and drop the self contained application but those with install packages I don't know.

    Firefox has you drag and drop. I know that will work. :p I run Firefox off of flash drives all the time.

    Office '08 has you install with their installer package.

    Attached Files:

  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    The only sure way to know you can run programs on external drives is to install them there in the first place; dragging them off your internal drive sounds like a good way to screw things up. In the installer the drives the program can be installed on will show up as options.
  5. ameeps macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2008
    If the app is drag and drop, just move it over to your external.

    Otherwise, plug in your external, run the apps installer, and see if it lets you select your external as the install path.

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