Applications in MacOS are special app folders. I assume this is done by setting some special permissions. Its normally not possible to navigate into such special folder from within other applications: the open file dialog of the Finder does not allow it.

I have one such folder with a very big file. The file is too big to copy outside its containing app folder. So ideally I want to 'transform' the app folder into a normal folder, so that I can access the contents from another (normal, GUI) application.

  • Size has nothing to do with App folders - app folders are normal folders and have the same permissions as anything else. Finder app does see them differently but does have the Show package options. However that has nothing to do with copy or size
    – mmmmmm
    Mar 5, 2018 at 13:43

1 Answer 1


Packages (‘app folders’) are displayed as packages only in Finder. To open a package as a folder in Finder, right-click on it and choose Show Package Contents.

For all other purposes they are normal directories.

/Applications ❯ ls Safari.app
total 0
drwxr-xr-x@   3 root  wheel    96B  6 Dec 23:39 ./
drwxrwxr-x+ 190 root  admin   5.9K  3 Mar 15:26 ../
drwxr-xr-x   10 root  wheel   320B  7 Nov 07:23 Contents/
  • This is very true - there’s no need to convert anything - just get inside the folder with terminal / command line or navigating the “package contents” in Finder or use Finder to Go to the folder inside the app. Then you can copy/move/edit as you wish.
    – bmike
    Mar 6, 2018 at 3:09
  • How stupid of me indeed. I was unable to move the file in the Finder because the disk was already full. But from the command line I could move the file. I am still curious though if its possible to change an 'app folder' into a normal folder.
    – Gijs
    Mar 6, 2018 at 11:37
  • @Gijs It is a normal folder, what precisely do you want to occur?
    – grg
    Mar 6, 2018 at 12:27
  • @grgarside It is not a normal folder in the way that the contents are accessable by other applications. It that case the folder is 'just' an app.
    – Gijs
    Mar 7, 2018 at 14:02

You must log in to answer this question.

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