How can I list my Applications by date installed? Some applications are installed from a zip file or a .dmg image, and I know that the first one, at least, preserves the Date Modified from when it was put in the zip file or compiled or whatnot.

The result is that some applications I just installed have a Date Modified of months or years in the past. So, I could go to the /Applications folder and sort by Date Modified but that's not too helpful.

How can I list Applications by date installed in OS X?

  • Have you tried Date Created? – Nathan Greenstein Jun 30 '11 at 14:06
  • I don't think Date Created will help either, as that's generally the date that the application was built or packaged by the developer, rather than the date that the bits landed on your disk. – calum_b Jun 30 '11 at 15:09
  • Yeah, I'm not sure either one of those things will work. You would think from the name of it that "Date Created" or "Date Modified" would do exactly this sort of thing. – cwd Jul 1 '11 at 0:37

Since applications are just copied to the drive anywhere (/Applications is simply a nice place for multi-user systems but apps run anywhere they land as long as it's readable) there is no mandatory place to record the installation.

Have you considered using Time Machine to construct a history?

I use BackupLoupe which will index all of your backups, so you can search and know the first backup that has that App. It's not a true installation time, but it's close within a week at worst if your backup runs at least that often.

You'll have to add some software that explicitly inventories your mac periodically to assemble such a list. Most of these apps are geared to remote management and not cost effective for one or a handful of macs.

  • I do have BackLoupe, which I think is great. Hmm, I was hoping there would be some easy like one-click deal that did it based off something, idk maybe ApplicationSupport files... – cwd Jul 1 '11 at 0:36
  • The system currently only tracks apps that are downloaded - so there is a database of first run authorizations, but it's neither documented how to access it nor clear that it stores an actual first use date or just a flag clearing the app to run again. – bmike Jul 1 '11 at 14:42

You must log in to answer this question.

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