In the Finder, the Applications directory has an option to sort by "Application Category," which splits apps into groups like Productivity, Social Networking, Music, etc.

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I have a number of apps listed under "Other" which I would like to assign to one of these other less-generic categories. Is it possible to change this? I looked in the Get Info window and don't see anything about the category listed.

  • I haven't had success changing these using xattr - but you can use mdls to dump the kMDItemAppStoreCategory metadata for an app to see the value Finder is using to sort these values. This command will show you the counts of the apps in /Applications so you can match it with what Finder is reporting: mdls -name kMDItemAppStoreCategory /Applications/* | sort | uniq -c – bmike Nov 21 '12 at 15:15

The answer is posted here:


To add or modify a category, you have to open the application bundle ('Show Package Contents', the under the folder Contents open the file 'Info.plist').

You then can change the existing category by changing the key called 'LSApplicationCategoryType' (or create the category by adding a child named accordingly).

A list of possible categories is listed here:


  • Bonus for pointing out that this might actually be stored in the Info.plist file rather than directly in the filesystem as metadata. I'll poke around later and see if changing this has any bad side effects with code signing or MAS receipts for updates, etc... – bmike Nov 21 '12 at 15:27

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