Say your download of 17gb application is interrupted and can't continue since you are out of space.

Knowing the application name, where can you look to find parts of what has already been downloaded so you can remove it?

  • 1
    Apps are usually directly downloaded in the Applications Folder. Have you tried looking there? – Samantha Catania Jun 23 '13 at 21:30
  • Apps are not directly downloaded to the Applications folder ... unless you mean Installed. Maybe clarify? – Zo219 Jun 23 '13 at 21:53
  • The icon seen in the application's folder is only a place holder, that is replaced upon completion of the download. (you can try opening it's package's contents and see for yourself). – Alexander Jun 24 '13 at 3:09
  • If you're looking to save disk space, have you tried deleting foreign language packs and old PowerPC copies of app binaries? They can easily add up to over 1-2GB – Alexander Jun 24 '13 at 3:09

The temporary location that stores downloading files varies between computers. Here's how to find it:

  1. Start a rather large app store download
  2. Open Activity monitor, and select the storedownloadd process. (storeagent for 10.9 and below)
  3. Open the Inspector (press the "i" button, or +i)
  4. Select the Open Files and Ports tab, and scroll to the bottom
  5. Select the path that starts with /private/var/folders that contains com.apple.appstore from the beginning, up to and including com.apple.appstore
  6. Open Terminal and type open [paste path here] and hit return
  7. From here, you can see all the temporary files the Mac App Store has made. You can get info on each one to see their sizes, and dispose of them accordingly.

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Here's another way to find the Mac App Store downloads folder by enabling the debug menu:

  1. Quit the App Store
  2. Open Terminal
  3. Run command: defaults write com.apple.appstore ShowDebugMenu -bool true
  4. Open the App Store
  5. Select the new "Debug" menu in the menu bar and choose "Show Download Folder..."

Demo: https://gfycat.com/KindLimpBarracuda

  • 1
    I tried this option but the debug menu do not appear. – user191264 Jul 8 '16 at 8:27
  • 1
    That's strange, I'm on 10.11.5 and was just able to disable and re-enable the debug menu with this command. – Chris A Jul 10 '16 at 2:25
  • @Rene You need to restart App Store. – Hamid Rohani Sep 16 '16 at 23:08
  • 2
    Didn't appear on 10.12.6 – malhal Aug 12 '17 at 16:31
  • 2
    Debug menu does not work on Sierra – George Dima Oct 24 '17 at 0:32

Downloads, finished or not, will be in your Downloads folder in your User Directory. Unless you have specified that Safari save them somewhere else: bad idea. Ceetainly not to the desktop, as so many people think.

In the General pane of Safari preferences, you will find the setting for what folder to save to ... and in answer to your other question, you can choose whether Safari is to remove incomplete downloads: manually, never, or when successfully downloaded.

The option to Open "safe" files after downloading is way unnecessary, uncheck that only if you're experienced with security measures.

BUT, I think you're confused about downloading vs. installing. Two separate processes. Downloaded filed or zips or disk images can sit there forever. If you're asking how to fully uninstall an installed application, please ask a new question.

  • The question pertains to files downloaded via the Mac App store, as indicated in the question's tags – Alexander Jun 24 '13 at 2:54

There is a very simple method to find downloaded .dmg files, when you wish to clean up or reuse or archive some .dmg file. This applies not only to App Store downloaded .dmg's but also to many other software downloaded using a .dmg file.

  1. Choose Finder menu "Go -> Go to Folder..." and enter /private/var
  2. Once the window of this normally hidden folder is open use the search box, by default in the top right corner of the window, and enter there '.dmg' (without the quotes)
  3. You get a list of all .dmg files that are currently in that temporary directory. If your Finder view preferences show the Path Bar, you see on the bottom of the window in the path bar for every selected .dmg file immediately the folder where the wanted .dmg resides. To activate the path bar choose Finder menu "View -> Show Path Bar".

Above method is straightforward and requires nothing else than ordinary Finder functionality.

BTW, the involved folders store these files only temporary. If your only motivation is to get rid of a large downloaded file, then a restart suffices to clean out these files.


Run in Terminal to open the folder in Finder:

open /private/var/folders/*/*/C/com.apple.appstore

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