I have installed Mac OS X an additional HDD. So my MacBook now has two copies of OS X, and I can select which one to boot when it starts – great.

The only catch is that, if all my hard drives are mounted, the App Store app doesn't work very well on the newer install – it thinks apps are installed when they are not (they are however installed on my old install). Obviously it is seeing the applications on the second HDD.

I don't want to unmount the second HDD (which fixes this problem, but forces me to stop what I'm working on). I've tried adding the second HDD's Application directory to my spotlight exclusions to no avail. What other ways can I solve this?

  • Personally I don't think there is a way to solve this.. but very curious to see what comes up...
    – Nivas
    Apr 18, 2012 at 3:51
  • Does the App Store continue to work for new app downloads, for example ones that you had not purchased nor downloaded before?
    – MrDaniel
    Apr 20, 2012 at 17:56
  • MrDaniel, yes it works fine for apps I've never installed even with the second HDD mounted, and they are installed to the correct location (i.e. on the primary HDD). Apr 24, 2012 at 2:34

2 Answers 2


That the App Store application finds the apps installed on your other OS volume is a feature. It may not be exactly what you want in this scenario, but consider the far more common scenario of a user moving some of their apps to an external volume because their system volume is running low on space.

You could file a bug with Apple, but the team responsible is unlikely to be convinced add special support for such an uncommon use case.

I'm afraid you're likely stuck with unmounting the second volume.

  • I have no doubt Apple thinks this is a feature, I guess I'm hoping there is a way to avoid it. Apr 24, 2012 at 2:36

Try telling the Mac App Store to Force Download the Applictions that it thinks are already installed.

The technique demonstrated here in the following article: 10.7: How to download the OS X Lion Installer on Lion

But actually this hint will work to force download any purchase on the Mac App Store.

So here's how to do it:

  • Open the Mac App Store.
  • Navigate to your Purchased page.
  • Hold down the Option key on your keyboard and click on your 'OS X Lion' purchase link (not on the 'installed' button).
  • You see the Lion product page. It should say 'Installed,' but that button is clickable. Hold down the Option key again and click on 'Installed.' If you don't hold the option key it will tell you there's already a newer version installed.
  • Enter your login credentials.
  • Download.

The Download should go to the /Application directory of the booted and newer install of Lion.

  • Thanks for the suggestion. Is this a bit out of date now? I can actually download OS X Lion without any tricks (the button on my Purchases page says 'Download'), and it seems that this trick isn't working for my other apps. Apr 24, 2012 at 2:32

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