A sample that shows how to move a running Mac application to the /Applications directory
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This fork adds Carthage support.


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 10.5 or higher. Does NOT support sandboxed applications.


Copy the following files into your project:

  • PFMoveApplication.h
  • PFMoveApplication.m

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

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 http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6646052/how-can-i-disable-arc-for-a-single-file-in-a-project/6658549#6658549

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

Link your application against Security.framework.


Public domain

Version History

  • 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


  • Eita Hayashi (Japanese)
  • Gleb M. Borisov (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 (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)