I have been searching and I didn't find an optimal solution for my problem. I have some apps purchased from the Mac App Store (Pixelmator, GarageBand), and other ones installed (Xcode).

I want to know is there an efficient way to backup this apps, and reinstall them after I do a fresh install of my system.

P.S. I want to do this because Xcode's download size is too big, and my internet connection isn't the better around... Same with other apps.

  • 2
    Using Time Machine is probably the simplest solution. Add a USB hard drive, set it and forget it.
    – afragen
    Commented Apr 29, 2012 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


The receipt data from the Mac App Store is stored inside the application bundles, so anything that backs up your Applications folder will do the trick. You don't need to worry about your proof-of-purchase being saved in some other location on your hard disk.

Time Machine is probably the simplest to set up, as it will back up your entire hard disk.

  • Thanks, I'll try with time machine. On the other hand, if you say that everything is bundled inside the application, does that mean that I can copy the *.app itself and save it somewhere? Commented May 1, 2012 at 3:20
  • Yes — the *.app is actually a folder, everything the app needs and your receipt from the App Store is in there. Note that it's possible to "break" the app if you copy it to a disk that doesn't support symbolic links; e.g. a FAT-formatted thumb drive. If everything is Mac (HFS+) formatted, you should be fine.
    – benzado
    Commented May 1, 2012 at 19:23

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .