Where do you install Applications? /Applications or /Users/Applications?

When would one install an application on MacOS in the /Applications or the /Users/username/Applications folders?

I noticed that I had a few in the users folder. I can’t recall if I manually installed them there.

I know Steam installs applications in the /Users folder. Also AppleScript applications.

If you are the only user of your computer or if the application is intended to be used by all the users of your computer, then install in /Applications. If the computer is shared and the application is only for you, then install in /Users/username/Applications.

For almost everyone, since most computers are “personal”, it makes no difference where you install applications.


I install third party apps in /Users//Shared/Applications/ I like that it keeps the /Applications folder clean and it makes it easier when I need to set up a new machine, which happens more often than I like.

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Ok, good to know. Had not noticed and kind of cool to know what the levels of permissions would be.

@Mark How does it make it easier to set up a new machine? Also, does that mean you move the application after it’s been installed into the shared folder? Thanks.

Mostly to easily copy the apps to the new machine. I also label demos to make them easier to find and delete if I don’t use them.

Citrix Workspace installs applications in /Users/username/Applications. Months ago I noticed that folder, knew I hadn’t created it, and wondered how it got there. But since I’ve been working from home, I can see that everything I use for work through Citrix is in there. Opening a Get Info window reveals that everything in there has “Application” as its “Kind:”, but some of them are just dedicated web links.