IMac Installed applications: where do they install?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by PicnicTutorials, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. PicnicTutorials macrumors 6502a

    PicnicTutorials

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    #1
    On windows they install in program files. On mac applications seem to install on the desktop. Maybe I can change that? Let's say I drag out the .exe (the icon that opens the program) and put it on my desktop. It seems I can then delete the downloaded folder that housed the .exe and it's files and the application still works. Loaded question. Sorry confused by mac vs windows. Please unconfuse me.
     
  2. PicnicTutorials thread starter macrumors 6502a

    PicnicTutorials

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    #3
    apps install location vs downloaded software location??

    I'm sure it will come more familiar over time, but the fact that you have some apps install in the apps screen and others install as applications on the desktop or elsewhere is a bit off for me. I'm more obsessive than that. I like all my stuff in the same place. Am I missing something there? Can I put them all in one place? Are they already all in one place and I'm confused again? Thanks!
     
  3. Twimfy macrumors 6502a

    Twimfy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    When you download an application from the net it's more often than not a .dmg file which is kinda like a parcel containing your application.

    Unlike windows applications most Mac Apps are self contained and operate on their own without having to spread folders and files everywhere (there are some exceptions and more often than not an app will make folders somewhere but you don't need to worry about that).

    Once you open one of those dmg's it's kinda like popping in a CD, they mount in finder. The app within you can drag and drop almost anywhere but the Applications folder is the recommended place.

    Once you've dragged that App to the Applications folder you can then go into finder and eject that .dmg and then delete it for good.

    All I will say is that if you have applications on your desktop I'd move them to the Applications folder. Also it's not advisable that you run an Application from it's dmg container (which it sounds like what you're doing).

    I hope all of that makes sense, way way back in 2005 this confused the hell out of me too but it does click eventually.
     
  4. Twimfy macrumors 6502a

    Twimfy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    They install wherever you want them too. Once you've opened the .dmg you can drag the app to applications folder, in fact that is the standard procedure.

    You can then delete the .dmg after you've ejected it in Finder.

    An application never installs to the desktop unless you download it in a .zip file and unzip it on the desktop, at which point you can move it. As for your dock, that's just a shortcuts bar btw.

    ----------

    I made this picture very quickly for you which might help you a little.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. jtara macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #6
    If there is an installer, the installer almost always store the app in the Applications directory.

    - Some installers have a Windows-like install process, and they typically just put the app in the Applications directory.

    - Some installers make you drag the app into the Applications directory icon in the installer.

    - Some apps don't have installers. You need to drag them whereever you want to put them. If they wind-up on the desktop, it's becuase you put them there. Don't put the there. Put them in the Applications directory.

    - Downloads should normally go to the Downloads directory. So, if the app doesn't have an installer, you would then move/copy the app to the Applications directory using Finder. But you have have your browser configured to put downloads on the desktop. A lot of people seem to do this, I've no idea why. Maybe they just like cluttered desktops.
     
  6. Twimfy macrumors 6502a

    Twimfy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    I do it because it's a good reminder to ditch the .dmg/.zip/.pkg as soon as possible or move whatever I've downloaded to the right place before it gets forgotten.

    I've seen some people's machine where they've got GB's of packages sat in their downloads folder. 9/10 I've asked them why they're there and they say they don't know.

    Other than a downloads brief appearance my desktop is always completely empty unless I'm working on something.
     
  7. PicnicTutorials thread starter macrumors 6502a

    PicnicTutorials

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    #8
    Thanks guys I got it now! I see 3 ways of downloading and installing so far. One via App Store. Two via the web with a installer and eject it after. And three via a zip and then I found you have to drag that into the applications. I got it now
     
  8. Twimfy macrumors 6502a

    Twimfy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    You're welcome :) It does get easier. OS X is great at organising everything once you've made yourself at home and gotten comfortable with the way Finder works.
     

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