A while ago I wanted to make things more convenient so I organized the my Mac applications in folders. Little did I know, it prevented Software Updates to detect needed updates.

Now, I've been trying to revert things the way they were. For most Apple application, thats easy, just put it at the root Application folder. However there is the "Utilities" folder, that I played with a bit.

Which application should and should NOT be in this folder?enter image description here

  • I don't know if Time Machine and System Preferences are supposed to be there. But I'm on 10.6, might be different.
    – slhck
    Oct 18, 2011 at 20:27
  • Did you try to find any guide from Apple whether a 3rd party programm should be placed into /Application or /Application/Utilities? Jan 14, 2018 at 17:19

3 Answers 3



  • Address Book
  • App Store
  • Automator
  • Calculator
  • Chess
  • Dashboard
  • Dictionary
  • DVD Player
  • FaceTime
  • Font Book
  • iCal
  • iChat
  • Image Capture
  • iTunes
  • Launchpad
  • Mail
  • Mission Control
  • Photo Booth
  • Preview
  • QuickTime Player
  • Safari
  • Stickies
  • System Preferences
  • TextEdit
  • Time Machine


  • Activity Monitor
  • AirPort Utility
  • AppleScript Editor
  • Audio MIDI Setup
  • Bluetooth File Exchange
  • Boot Camp Assistant
  • ColorSync Utility
  • Console
  • DigitalColor Meter
  • Disk Utility
  • Grab
  • Grapher
  • Java Preferences
  • Keychain Access
  • Migration Assistant
  • Network Link Conditioner
  • Network Utility
  • Podcast Capture
  • Podcast Publisher
  • RAID Utility
  • Services Manager
  • System Information
  • Terminal
  • VoiceOver Utility
  • X11
  • 1
    Thanks that helps a lot. Let it be a notice for people - don't move Apple applications into folders, it messes it up.
    – nute
    Oct 19, 2011 at 9:11

On my system, these ones from your screenshot are in Applications, not Utilities:

  • iSync
  • Microsoft Silverlight
  • System Preferences
  • Time Machine

In the picture of your utilites folder Time Machine, iSync and System Preferences are the three OS applications that you moved from your Mac's applications folder.

This is important for the newest versions of the Mac OS.

Earlier versions of the OS also install updates. Once installed, AFAIK you can try to move OS applications to the utility folder. If you do this, try running each application to ensure that it runs properly. All changes affect all users on a Mac.

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