I'm trying to put Maveric's new feature - Finder Tags - to a good use, so I have a bunch of installed applications, some I have read/write permissions but for some others I don't (All apps installed by the OS and some others, such as Parallels Desktop, to give one example).

So if I want to get a list with all apps bundled in OSX I could by typing this to Spotlight:


Apps installed (not bundled in OSX):


The beauty in it is I could, also, find all the web browsers installed (by OSX or by me) by doing this:


Or get only the browsers installed by me:

tag:MyApp tag:WebBrowser

So far so good, but here is my potential issue:

To be able to tag some apps I should enable write permissions on them, tag the apps, then restore the permissions as it were before I tagged those apps. What happens when there is an update for an app I've tagged by changing its permissions?

Will I get an error? Will the app be updated successfully? Will the tag(s) remain?

  • 1
    Did you get this working? this is an amazing question, im baffled not more people have asked this.. or even responded to your question.
    – Michahell
    Aug 12, 2014 at 13:05
  • @MichaelTrouw thanks. yes, it's kind of odd nobody has answered this question, your comment made me remember this question. I will answer it now, just to close this with info i gathered by trial and error.
    – Esteban
    Dec 29, 2014 at 12:42

1 Answer 1


Since I've asked this a long time ago, now I have some thoughts about my very own question, maybe anyone else is wondering the same so here it goes.

Will I get an error? Will the app be updated successfully? Will the tag(s) remain?

Basically its a NO to both questions.


When you update an app it overwrites itself. So no tags, at least not as far as I know and/or tested. And tags will not break any update, again, as far as I know and/or tested.

IF someone posts a better answer I will choose the other answer over this.

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