I wrote a piece of software and I host it online as a downloadable dmg file. When the dmg is mounted, you can open it like a regular folder. The user then needs to drag the software from the dmg folder to their computer (their Desktop or the Applications folder)-- simply double clicking on the software executable while its inside the dmg does not work.

Many users do not read the install instructions. They tell me the software does not work, because they did not drag it onto their computer.

I have noticed that a lot of polished software comes as a downloadable dmg, but when you mount it the dmg, it specifically asks you to drag the software to your Applications folder, like in the image below.

How can I do this? I am currently using Disk Manager to create my dmgs.

enter image description here

  • It's a background image for the folder
    – lhf
    Commented Oct 23, 2020 at 19:46
  • So I can make the dmg as usual, and then add a custom background and resize the icons with finder?
    – Jeff
    Commented Oct 23, 2020 at 19:47
  • It's just an alias to /Applications, which is a valid path on any Mac.
    – benwiggy
    Commented Oct 23, 2020 at 21:42

1 Answer 1


Here is a roadmap:

  • Create an empty folder.

  • Give it a good name.

  • Put your app in the folder.

  • Create an alias of /Applications in the folder.

  • Change the name of the alias to " ".

  • Resize the folder to your taste.

  • Give a suitable background image to the folder.

  • Create the dmg from the folder.

  • You don;t need to rename the alias plus possibly adding text in the background to say Drag the App to the Applicatioin or an arrow
    – mmmmmm
    Commented May 16, 2023 at 10:09

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