Some applications are not installed to the usual root "Applications" folder, but to the one inside the user's home directory. They then don't show up when I click on the Applications folder icon in the dock. While they sure can be started using Launchpad, I'm more used to start applications via the application folder link in the dock. Is there a way to keep my habit but also see the user's applications?

  • 1
    Pro Tip...Use Spotlight instead. Press Cmd-Space and start typing the app name - its much, much faster than looking in a window for apps.
    – Allan
    Apr 20, 2020 at 20:48

1 Answer 1


Here is what I would do:

  1. Create aliases for the apps already in: ~/Applications

    • Select the apps in ~/Applications and drag an drop into /Applications while holding down: option command
  2. Create an Automator Folder action that will create an alias for any new app placed in ~/Applications into: /Applications

    • In Automator, File > New, then select: Folder Action
    • Set Folder Action receives files and folders added to ~/Applications
    • Add a New Aliases action setting In: to: /Applications
    • Save as, e.g.,: Alias My Apps to Apps

Automator Folder Action workflow

To work with Folder Actions afterwards, you can bring up Folder Actions Setup using Spotlight by typing in e.g. Folder Actions Setup until it shows, and then press: Enter Or, right-click on any folder in Finder and select Folder Actions Setup… from the Services section of the pop-up menu.

Folder Actions Setup

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