Question about backing up "apps"

Discussion in 'macOS' started by alec6542, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. alec6542 macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2012
    Hi guys,

    So I am going to be doing a clean install (format then reinstall mountain lion). I do not use Time Machine, I pretty much backup everything manually, that is, I plug in an external USB harddrive and copy and paste the various files I want to backup.

    However, one thing I am a little confused about is backing up applications. There are only about a half dozen applications I want to backup, but surely I don't just "copy and paste" those my Ex HD, and then copy them back after the OS restore? I understand that you can just drag and drop simple apps as you please, but what about bigger, more complex applications things like Mathematica, and Microsoft Office, both of which I own? When I first put those on my Mac, they went through an installation process, and I would imagine that they would have to be "reinstalled", not just "copied over", the next time I put them on a clean OS? Or is simply copying and pasting the application bundles sufficient provided I have my license keys which I do.

    Thanks for any help
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I have never done what you do. I use Time Machine, Carbon Copy Cloner or Migration Assistant. As a result, at the most, I have to enter 1 or 2 license keys. Copying an app from your /Applications folder doesn't back up anything it might have stored in /Library/Application Support. And there may be other files lying around. One solution is to back up any installers you've downloaded and reinstall them on the new machine. Tell me again, why is it you don't want to use CCC, TM or Migration Assistant? Are you having trouble with your Mac? If you aren't experiencing a problem, a "clean install" isn't really called for.

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