Sometimes when opening up a .dmg, the application is just sitting there itself, with no handy alias to /Applications. To copy it over, I need to open a new Finder window, switch to /Applications, and then drag and drop the app in.

Is there an easier way? I would love it if there was a keyboard shortcut that would copy the selected app into /Applications. How can I make this work?

2 Answers 2


The simplest way is to just use the ⌥⌘S shortcut to show the Finder sidebar (which has the Applications folder by default), and drag the app there. You can then use the same shortcut to hide it if you prefer.

If you wanted a unique shortcut for copying a file to the Applications folder, you could make a simple service using Automator:

  1. Open Automator, and create a new workflow, as a Service.
  2. Set the options to Service receives selected files or folders in Finder.
  3. Add a Copy Finder Items action, and set the destination to the Applications folder.
  4. Save the service, and give it an appropriate name.
  5. Open Keyboard Preferences, select Services under Keyboard Shortcuts. Find the service you just created, and assign it a shortcut of your choice.

If you wanted to get fancy, you could expand the service to automatically eject the disk image afterwards, but I'll leave that as an exercise to the reader.


In (Mountain) Lion, there is a feature where you can add a folder shortcut to the Dock, and set various display/sorting options for it. I have shortcuts to Applications and my Downloads and Documents folders (among others), and when I get a .dmg file like you're describing I just drag the app file over the Applications folder in the Dock and drop it there.

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