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I've been on my mac for quite a while now, using only a single account (mine).

I've added a new account for my girlfriend recently (yes it's getting serious), but I have a little problem.

I'm a physicist and therefore use a lot of domain-specific apps (matlab, macvim, latex, ...) which my girlfriend doesn't need.

How can I change these apps so they only show up in my account's applications folder (I am the admin). Vice versa, I would also want that none of the apps she installs are visible on my account.

How would this be done? Do her privileges prevent her from installing global apps?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

You have two questions here. ( and ~ is short for the /Users/current_user folder)

1) For apps only to show up in your account - move them to ~/Applications

2) If a user is not part of the Administrators group then that user cannot install apps in /Applications which is the normal place for shared Applications. Non admin users can install apps in their home folder ~ but not another user's Applications folder nor the system Applications folder.

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And if ~/Applications doesn't exist? I just create one? How will this affect complicated apps such as Matlab, which aren't really as drag-n-drop as the usual app? – romeovs Jun 7 '11 at 13:49
Yes just create it. – Mark Jun 7 '11 at 13:50
This will probably be sufficient for most practical purposes. But ideally, I suppose you'd also want to delete any preferences from /Library/Preferences (perhaps moving them to ~/Library/Preferences if the app hasn't already created a per-user prefs file there), and there may also be things in /Library/Application Support to think about moving to ~/Library/Application Support. – scottishwildcat Jun 7 '11 at 13:52
yet now, I have two app folders in the Admin account. This might get frustrating no? – romeovs Jun 7 '11 at 13:55
@romeovs Re 'complicated' apps, it partly depends what your ultimate goal is. Is it to prevent your girlfriend from seeing them, or just from accidentally running them? And if it's the former, does it matter that she might find them with Spotlight, even if she can't see them in /Applications or ~/Applications ? – scottishwildcat Jun 7 '11 at 13:55

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