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  • #2140762

    Why is Catalina installing 3rd-party apps as aliases in application folder?

    by dhml ·


    I have a new MacBook 2019 running 10.15.7. When I install a non-Apple app, like DxO PhotoLab 4 or BBedit, the installation process appears to proceed as normal. But it results in the installed app’s ALIAS being put in the applications folder. Clicking that results in the app attempting to open from the installation .dmg file. How do I get my 3rd party apps installed correctly? I’ve been using Macs for 20 years and have installed a lot of programs but never seen this before.
    After some trial and error, I’ve fixed the problem. I don’t know the exact technical details why, but Catalina does not properly install non-Apple, third-party programs. Whatever permissions changes the Apple crew made in this OS prevents a new program from being dragged from the .dmg installer image file into the applications folder. If it IS dragged in, it becomes an alias file and the program is not actually installed. The solution turned out to be relatively simple:
    – Open the .dmg installer
    – Drag the program icon to the desktop (not into the applications folder).
    – Click it open so the actual install can occur
    – Then drag the program from the desktop into the applications folder. That’s it.

    This effected various programs I was trying to install on my new MacBook Pro including DxO PhotoLab 4, PhotoMechanic 6, Max Bulk Mailer, BBedit and several others. It seems surprising that Apple appears to have not made any effort to inform users about this but also provides no information on how to overcome this maddeningly frustrating barrier to installation anywhere on its website that I could find.

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    • #2416088
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      it could be,

      by mrmacfixit ·

      In reply to Why is Catalina installing 3rd-party apps as aliases in application folder?

      that the install did not go exactly as planned.
      My first thought was 32bit but that is not the problem.
      That it’s attempting to run PhotoLab from the mounted .dmg file is, as you already know, not a good sign.
      Not familiar with PhotoLab installer, I presume it is not just a case of “drag and Drop” but an actual installer.
      This is just a shot in the dark, and forgive me if it sound insulting, but; when you installed the software, did you just drag the dmg to the Applications folder?
      That would cause an alias in the App folder and result in the alias trying to launch from the .dmg.
      Does this happen with all 3rd part apps?

      • #2416085
        Avatar photo

        PhotoLab install

        by mrmacfixit ·

        In reply to it could be,

        is actually a “Drag and Drop” install.
        Launching the .dmg produces the D&D install to the Applications folder after which DxO PhotoLab 4 appear in that folder but not as an Alias.

        I would suggest that you try again to see if you get the same result.

        I am now the owner of a 30day Free trial of PhotoLab

        Hope this helps

    • #2416087
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      I’m not the xpert.

      by rproffitt ·

      In reply to Why is Catalina installing 3rd-party apps as aliases in application folder?

      But reading it appears this is some permission choice. Let’s hope Mrmacfixit arrives soon to expand or expound.

      • #2416082
        Avatar photo

        I expounded but

        by mrmacfixit ·

        In reply to I’m not the xpert.

        along with my Mod status, I appear to have lost my name too

        Seems it does not do that for everyone. Perhaps a permission change was made earlier and forgotten about.


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