I noticed not all my software installations appear in System report's installation history list. I understand any softwares install via homebrew won't be listed there but there were plenty of softwares that i have installed via clicking pkg or dmg files were not there. Those softwares are successfully installed and i could find those in my mac application folder. I recently installed the following apps and it not appear in the installation histories:

  1. Little snitch
  2. EasyUS Data Recovery
  • 1
    I have lots of apps which are not in Software Installations. Not obvious to me how apps do or don't get into that list. Those missing include some installed via the App Store. I would like to know the answer too.
    – Gilby
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 9:50
  • Does softwareupdate --history -a work for you?
    – lhf
    Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 16:08
  • @lhf for me that gives only macOS and Xcode command line tools
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 16:31
  • Make sure to use -a. For me it shows things like Zoom and Microsoft tools.
    – lhf
    Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 16:34
  • @lhf yes I used -a - I am on macOS 11.5.1 No MS or Zoom installed - but I havve many through AppStore and LittleSnitch
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 18:02

1 Answer 1


The listing comes from /Library/Receipts. In current macOS systems, it's in the file InstallHistory.plist. Formerly, there were separate receipt files for each installed item.

Receipts are created by applications and other files installed from installer packages (.pkg files) via macOS' Installer utility (see man installer in the Terminal for more info), and those installed by the Mac App Store and Software Update. Applications that are simply dragged into the Applications folder (as is the case with EaseUS Data Reovery) don't create receipts. Some applications, like Little Snitch, may use customized installer applications that likewise don't create receipts.

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