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A sample project that demonstrates how to move a running Mac OS X application to the Applications folder.



Builds and runs on Mac OS X 10.6 or higher. Does NOT support sandboxed applications.


Option 1:

Build then embed LetsMove.framework into your app.

Option 2:

Copy the following files into your project:

  • PFMoveApplication.h
  • PFMoveApplication.m

If your project has ARC enabled, you'll want to disable ARC on the above files. You can do so by adding -fno-objc-arc compiler flag to your PFMoveApplication.m source file. See

If your application is localized, also copy the 'MoveApplication.string' files into your project.

Link your application against Security.framework.

In your app delegate's "-[applicationWillFinishLaunching:]" method, call the PFMoveToApplicationsFolderIfNecessary function at the very top.


Public domain

Version History

  • 1.25

    • Added Greek and Vietnamese localizations
    • Update project for Xcode 11.5
  • 1.24

    • Add PFMoveIsInProgress function
    • Update project for Xcode 9.1
  • 1.23

    • Fix localization not being used when built as a framework
    • Fix backwards compatibility with OS X 10.9 and earlier being broken
    • Make usable for Electron based apps or other apps that do not have access to the main thread dispatch queue
    • Update Russian localization
  • 1.22

    • Fix not deleting or trashing itself after copying to /Applications in macOS Sierra
  • 1.21

    • Support for Carthage added
    • Project now support OS X 10.6 and higher
  • 1.20

    • Support for applications bundled inside another application
    • Brazilian Portuguese localization slightly updated
    • Build warnings fixed
  • 1.19

    • Slovak localization added
  • 1.18

    • Catalan localization added
  • 1.17

    • Tranditional Chinese localization added.
  • 1.16

    • Deprecation warning that appears when minimum deployment target is set to OS X 10.10 taken care of
  • 1.15

    • Swedish localization added
  • 1.14

    • Hugarian, Serbian, and Turkish localizations added
    • Macedonian localization added
  • 1.13

    • Polish localization added
  • 1.12

    • Use country code based .lproj directories
    • Make it compile for projects that don't use precompiled headers to import AppKit.framework
    • Minor adjustment to Dutch localization
    • Warning fixes in example project
  • 1.11

    • Objective-C++ compatibility
  • 1.10

    • Fixed deprecation warnings that show up when building against the OS X 10.9 SDK.
  • 1.9

    • Removed OS X 10.4 support
    • Properly detect if the running app is in a disk image
    • Fixed a bug where if the app's name contained a quote, the app could not be moved
    • After a successful move, delete the application instead of moving it to the Trash.
    • Other fixes and improvements
  • 1.8

    • If the app is already there in the Applications folder but not writable, request authentication from user
    • Added Korean localization
  • 1.7.2

    • Fixed an exception that could happen.
  • 1.7.1

    • Refactoring
  • 1.7

    • Only move to ~/Appilcations directory if an app is already in there.
  • 1.6.3

    • Function calls deprecated in 10.7 no longer cause compile time warnings.
    • Added Simplified Chinese and European Portuguese localizations
  • 1.6.2

    • Garbage collection compatibility added
    • Use a new method to check if an application is already running on Mac OS X 10.6 systems or higher
  • 1.6.1

    • Use exit(0) to terminate the app before relaunching instead of [NSApp terminate:]. We don't want applicationShouldTerminate or applicationWillTerminate NSApplication delegate methods to be called, possibly introducing side effects.
  • 1.6

    • Resolve any aliases when finding the Applications directory
  • 1.5.2

    • Cleaned up the code a bit. Almost functionally equivalent to 1.5.1.
  • 1.5.1

    • Fixed a bug with clearing the quarantine file attribute on Mac OS X 10.5
  • 1.5

    • Don't prompt to move the application if it has "Applications" in its path somewhere
  • 1.4

    • Mac OS X 10.5 compatibility fixes
  • 1.3

    • Fixed a rare bug in the shell script that checks to see if the app is already running
    • Clear quarantine flag after copying
    • Compile time option to show normal sized alert supress checkbox button
    • German, Danish, and Norwegian localizations added
  • 1.2

    • Copy application from disk image then unmount disk image
    • Spanish, French, Dutch, and Russian localizations
  • 1.1

    • Prefers ~/Applications over /Applications if it exists
    • Escape key pushes the "Do Not Move" button
  • 1.0

    • First release

Code Contributors:

  • Andy Kim
  • John Brayton
  • Chad Sellers
  • Kevin LaCoste
  • Rasmus Andersson
  • Timothy J. Wood
  • Matt Gallagher
  • Whitney Young
  • Nick Moore
  • Nicholas Riley
  • Matt Prowse
  • Maxim Ananov
  • Charlie Stigler


  • Eita Hayashi (Japanese)
  • Gleb M. Borisov, Maxim Ananov (Russian)
  • Wouter Broekhof (Dutch)
  • Rasmus Andersson / Spotify (French and Spanish)
  • Markus Kirschner (German)
  • Fredrik Nannestad (Danish)
  • Georg Alexander Bøe (Norwegian)
  • Marco Improda (Italian)
  • Venj Chu (Simplified Chinese)
  • Sérgio Miranda (European Portuguese)
  • Victor Figueiredo and BR Lingo (Brazilian Portuguese)
  • AppLingua (Korean)
  • Czech X Team (Czech)
  • Marek Telecki (Polish)
  • Petar Vlahu (Macedonian)
  • Václav Slavík (Hungarian, Serbian, and Turkish)
  • Erik Vikström (Swedish)
  • Inndy Lin (Traditional Chinese)
  • aONe (Catalan)
  • Marek Hrusovsky (Slovak)
  • Sotirios Papathanasiou (Greek)
  • Minh-Ton (Vietnamese)

Carthage compatible


A sample that shows how to move a running Mac application to the /Applications directory



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