I'm looking for a way to change the folder location that a .pkg installs to. When I run .pkg and Installer opens, it only gives me the option to install on my main disk.

How do I change this so I can specify where on my disk for the .pkg to install? Is there a 3rd party installer that would allow me to do this? Or would this require me to convert .pkg and edit the scripts? I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing, and I wouldn't call myself an advanced user, but more of an above average user...

What I'm trying to do is move all my applications to ~/Applications rather than the default /Applications, but one of the apps I'm trying to move and reinstall is in a .pkg and I'm not sure how to run the .pkg and install the app and make sure all of its corresponding files correctly show that the app is in ~/Applications.

  • Hi, welcome to Ask Different. You can force the installation in a different folder as follows: Launch Terminal and run this command installer -pkg <application>.pkg -target ~/Applications (replace <application>.pkg with the path to the pkg file), but be aware that not all packages can be relocated, that may be the reason Installer doesn't give you a choice. Even if the installation works, launch the app to check whether it runs correctly.
    – jaume
    Jun 22, 2020 at 10:02

1 Answer 1


Some installers allow custom install locations in the install wizard.

However, if not, you can use the excellent third-party installer app, Pacifist.

Pacifist lets you browse the contents of installer packages, select components to install and choose install destinations.

However, if an installer package contains files that rely on the app being in /Applications, or if it contains scripts that pre- or post-process files, there isn't an easy way of configuring things to work with a different location. Pacifist does let you have a look at such scripts inside the package, though.

It's more likely that the app itself requires other components to be in fixed locations, and that after installing normally, you can move the app to another location, particularly ~/Applications, which is an OS designated location for apps.

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