Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have noticed that installing an application from the Internet in Mac OS always involves dragging an icon into the applications folder.

Why is this so? Couldn't the installer automate this process? Why does the end user have to do that?

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Those applications that have an installer do do this. But most don't need an installer, just more complex ones that have to place several files in different locations or make other system changes. Otherwise, all that's needed is placing the app into wherever you want it. Sometimes you'll want it in /Applicatons (for all users), sometime in ~/Applications (for your use only), and some people may have some other file structure they prefer. A single drag or copy would suffice for any of those options.

share|improve this answer

Not necessarily - there's also some packages that install with installer. The .dmg/drag to applications folder method is more intuitive for simple installs however.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.