I just downloaded and installed Mac OSX El Capitan via the App Store and want to install it on another machine via USB , but I can't find the downloaded installer. Where did it go? I have limited MB's on my internet connection , so I don't want to download it again!


You'll have to download it again because it's gone! The OS X Installer application bundle is automatically deleted when the install is finished, when it's executed from a running occurrence of the OS. In other words, when doing an in-place upgrade, one needs to first make a copy of the installer if needed to be used again.

As an example, when the Install OS X El Capitan.app was downloaded, it's saved in the Applications folder and a copy of it needs to be made, preferably to another location, first before proceeding with the upgrade.

Note that if you've been using Time Machine, there may be a copy of the Installer application bundle in the backup, however, timing is everything. That is to say, because of the size of the installer and the time of the last backup in conjunction with when the installer was downloaded and used to preform the upgrade, there is the possibility that the copy of the Installer application bundle is not a complete copy.

  • Time Machine is smart enough to not back up half of an application bundle, so if it's there then it is the entire installer. – grg Mar 4 '17 at 22:51
  • @grgarside, I have found on more then one occasion large files in my Time Machine backup not be the complete file and why I made that statement. Maybe it depends on differing factors. Could have been I shut the machine down during a backup and it wasn't cleaned up properly. Can't say for sure as I deleted the files in question from the backup and can't go back and check. – user3439894 Mar 4 '17 at 23:03

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