Question about moving applications

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Kyffin, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. Kyffin macrumors 6502

    Sep 5, 2010
    Hello!, Just have quick questions (had a look and can't find an answer/explanation, also don't really have time for deeper research right now) about how OS X organises files and applications.

    Firstly, how much does the OS keep track of files and folders? Say if I have a file which is referenced by others and I were to move it to another location can I be guaranteed of a 'file not found' message where it is referenced? And is there any way to configure the OS to intelligently keep track of the locations so that the paths are updated to where the file moves to?

    Also (and probably biggest question) is it possible to change the location of applications by dragging and dropping without causing any problems? This would be handy as I'd like to reorganise my system and wondered whether it'd be possible to just drag some from the Applications folder to the Utilities folder.

    Any help is appreciated, thank you!
  2. MacDawg macrumors P6


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Shouldn't be a problem at all
    I have never had an issue moving Applications or files wherever I wanted them
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Depends on the app. Bigger apps like Photoshop don't like moving (it needs to do something when launched the next time and e.g. you can't uninstall them with uninstaller) but small apps that came with no installers (just drag to folder) can be moved without any issues.
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It depends on the app in question, but usually it isn't a problem.
    Again, it depends on the app, but it's not recommended, as some apps fail to function properly if they're moved from the Applications folder.
  5. Kyffin thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 5, 2010
    Thank you very much for your responses- fine food for thought, and your answers are appreciated.

    Newly emboldened I've tested a few with mixed responses, mostly successfully (with small apps probably best described as third party utilities), while I find problems lie in separating an app from a resources folder (or a parent folder)- not tried with a substantial application as I'm happy to keep them at hand.

    Again, the knowledge is appreciated and I look forward to being able to learn more about these workings.

  6. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2009
    Be aware that if some Apple apps are moved from their default locations, then Software Update may not work correctly.
  7. Kyffin thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 5, 2010
    Ahhh, thanks for the advice but its probably come too late for Automator, Time Machine, iSync, Dashboard, Fontbook, and System Preferences... got a bit carried away before.

    Well hopefully I can make it to the new year by checking the contents of Software Update and switching back if necessary- should be starting from scratch then anyway (want to apply what I've learnt and clear away the effects of how!)

    Thank you for the advice

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