I just followed the top-voted answer here and successfully installed Visual Studio Code's code command in my terminal.

However, the code command fails to launch Visual Studio Code every time after I restart my MacBook Pro.

~ code
zsh: command not found: code

Is it possible to install code permanently so that I don't have to install it every time I turn on my MacBook Pro?

~ where code

~ ls -l /usr/local/bin/code
lrwxr-xr-x  1 myName  admin  167 Aug  5 13:41 /usr/local/bin/code -> /private/var/folders/bh/525lnbns1213cx2651s97my00000gp/T/AppTranslocation/EA379FC4-05D2-4739-BE49-1D8870E47B8A/d/Visual Studio Code.app/Contents/Resources/app/bin/code

I also find out that the folder EA379FC4-05D2-4739-BE49-1D8870E47B8A get deleted after I restart my laptop.

This is the reason that I cannot run code after the laptop is restarted.

Why is code installed in a temporary folder?

My MacBook Pro's version is macOS Sierra version 10.12.6


6 Answers 6


Looks like your whole Visual Studio got installed in a temporary folder.

  • Remove the current link with sudo rm /usr/local/bin/code

  • Start Visual Studio from within /Applications

  • Reinstall code as described in https://stackoverflow.com/a/29971430:

    Now open the Command Palette (F1 or ⇧⌘P on Mac) and type shell command to find the Shell Command: Install 'code' command in PATH command.

If it still doesn't work you can also link manually by running

sudo ln -fs "/Applications/Visual Studio Code.app/Contents/Resources/app/bin/code" /usr/local/bin/
  • 1
    Thank you. The solution works. I found that my Visual Studio Code.app was in Downloads folder. The code command is installed in /Applications/Visual Studio Code.app/Contents/Resources/app/bin/code after I dragged it to Applications folder.
    – Brian
    Aug 5, 2017 at 6:43
  • 1
    Moving VSCode from /Downloads to /Applications and re-running the VSCode pallette command did the trick for me too.
    – Lauren
    Aug 8, 2018 at 21:54
  • The manual link worked for me, thank you! Apr 18, 2021 at 17:27
  • running SHELL Command: Uninstall 'code' command in PATH then running Shell Command: Install 'code' command in PATH fixed this issue for me
    – Xaxxus
    Jul 27, 2021 at 15:22

If you're on Mac OS Catalina, you need to edit your .zprofile instead of .bash_profile.

  1. Edit your ~/.zprofile file: vim ~/.zprofile
  2. Add the following code in it, on it's own line: code () { VSCODE_CWD="$PWD" open -n -b "com.microsoft.VSCode" --args $* ;}
  3. Save the file: :wq
  4. Re-run the updated file: source ~/.zprofile.
  5. Test that running code . opens your current folder in VS Code!

OK, it seems "ln" command not work for me (I use this command set up sublime text). But I got an another solution.

  1. edit your ~/.bash_profile file.

  2. add the following code in it. code () { VSCODE_CWD="$PWD" open -n -b "com.microsoft.VSCode" --args $* ;}

  3. after save. do not forget to run source ~/.bash_profile.

  4. Finished and test it, type code

  • For zsh, we probably want to edit .zshrc instead of .bash_profile, though. That way, we don't need to source ~/.bash_profile each time we need the settings... Dec 1, 2019 at 14:07

Since Catalina update, MacOS uses zsh bash environment by default*
*Resource about zsh and terminal

Personnal settup: currently using macOS with Catalina:

  • bash file & location: .zshrc, ~/.zshrc
  • .zshrc existance: ls -la > and look for .zshrc file

    • if no .zshrc file: touch .zshrc
  • open & write –– alias code="open -a 'Visual Studio Code'".
    Which will behave like what Monomeeth mentioned above:
    opens your VSCode from your folder Applications.


One thing I noticed was that my Visual Studio Code.app was in Downloads/, not Applications/.

If this is the case, run mv /Users/<your-user-name>/Downloads/Visual\ Studio\ Code.app /Applications and try again!

Good luck!


simple solution if you recently reinstalled VS Code and don't want to sudo: Just drag & drop Visual Studio Code.app from Downloads to Applications.

then run .code in whatever terminal you use on mac

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