I've seen a number of references to a folder at ~/Applications, including in a comment on this question. This prompted me to open my home folder on my Lion installation to have a look, and sure enough, there it is, complete with its own folder icon. Checking another machine which is running Snow Leopard showed no such folder.

So, am I right to assume that this is new with Lion, and is the recommended location for self-installed apps? I never have liked cluttering up the system Applications folder with extraneous software, and for that reason store most non-bundled apps in a self-created ~/My Apps folder. That has the advantage of being assignable to the Finder window sidebar without ambiguity, which is more than can be said for ~/Applications.

Finally, as I write this I wonder if the thinking behind ~/Applications is that apps stored there will appear in Launchpad?

  • Just to clarify, I'm talking here about apps which I download or have downloaded without recourse to the Mac App Store. Commented Aug 12, 2011 at 11:35

2 Answers 2


~\Applications isn't created during the installation of the OS, you have to create it by yourself. Once you create it, it is recognized as an "application folder" and the Finder will show the proper icon for the folder.

It has been like this since Tiger, at least. I'm not aware if Lion creates it automatically as mine was already there when I upgraded to Lion.

  • 2
    Not present on my clean install of Lion. But yes, you can create it yourself and Finder will give it the applications icon. Some people recommend putting apps in there rater that /Applications for security.
    – reaganing
    Commented Aug 12, 2011 at 12:12
  • In my case, Lion appears to have created it after an upgrade from SL, since I definitely hadn't created it previously myself. As I say, it's unfortunate that it cannot be added to the Finder sidebar without ambiguity. Commented Aug 12, 2011 at 12:12

I think you are correct, there is no mention of ~/Applications in this Apple's previous documentation but it is mentioned in the documentation for Launchpad in Lion (it does exactly what you suggest).

It makes sense that Apple has now created this for people who like to have per user apps, but still want to use Launchpad.

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