I downloaded a dmg which apparently OS X mounted as a drive or something. Then I googled around to find out I should ctrl+clicked -> open the program and get past the warning messages.

I closed the app, and dragged the .app file to launchpad. Then I ejected the mount DMG and now launchpad can't figure out where the app is. Apparently it just created a link.

How do you install applications on a mac? As a developer I find it hard to believe it could be this complex without the OS offering any helpful hints.


Apparently you should not drag the app to the launchpad, instead, drag the app to the application folder (open a finder window), or just do a $ cp /from /to.

So the process is:

  1. Open DMG (it mounts)
  2. Drag .app (and possibly other files) to your "Applications" folder
  3. Unmount/Eject the DMG
  4. Ctrl+click (right-click) to "open" so you can approve the app
  • yeah, a lot of people add a link to the application folder to their .dmg and put a background image with an arrow. It can be confusing. I think if you had launched the application from the .dmg there is a dialog that offers to move it to the application folder for you, but that may have just been one app that I'm remembering. – dwightk Nov 20 '14 at 15:34
  • Any half-sensible .dmg with an app that needs to go to Apps will put an Apps folder link on the mounted dmg itself, drag the app one inch to the link, done. Put the dmg away. – Tetsujin Nov 20 '14 at 20:38
  • @Tetsujin, It's seemed like 1/3 of all the mac apps I've used do not come with this. All the professional applications do seem to take the time to add the syslink + guide background image. – Xeoncross Nov 20 '14 at 20:41
  • i'm guessing, as the link is to github, that they expect you to already know how it's done - which is great if you're an expert on any given OS, but a bit of a bugger if you're an experienced coder on a new OS. Conversely, if someone throws me a tarball & some 2-line intrs for bash... I'm screwed ;-) – Tetsujin Nov 20 '14 at 20:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .