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Question: Where does App Store download files to?

I ran the Updates feature in the App Store on my iMac today, and it reported both a delta (incremental) update to Mountain Liion to 10.8.1, and a full download of the 10.8.1 Combo (4.37GB). After running the delta update, I decided to download the full Combo version, just in case I ever needed to do a full reinstall. When the download finished, it popped up a window to run that installer, but I cancelled it since I didn't need it to run now. However, after quitting the installer, I wanted to add the Combo download to my MacOS X Updates folder on a backup drive, however, I couldn't find the file. Where does the App Store download its files to? I couldn't find a setting in either the App Store application, or the System Preferences to identify its default download location.

iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.1)

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By default for most of the time it should be /Applications folder. However, with your case, I think the combo update should not even be available (since you already had the OS and only needed the delta update), so it might be different. Just give it a try.

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Sep 19, 2012 3:40 PM in response to Dave Marsh In response to Dave Marsh

You can check for the temporary file that the storeagent downloads by going to the Activity Monitor and looking at the open files tab. There you'll find the installer package. But since this is a temporary location I do not know how it's handled after the download is complete.


User uploaded file

User uploaded file


I ran the XCode update and the folder stayed there for the full installation. So it might be possible to grab the package if the installer isn't finished so the storeagent keeps the file araound till the installer finishes up but deletes it right after.

Question marked as Helpful

Jun 17, 2015 1:48 PM in response to Dave Marsh In response to Dave Marsh

Start the download.
From terminal, execute the following command: lsof | grep -i pkg



This will give you a result like:

storedown 480 Michael 6u REG 1,2 1740996608 2552780 /private/var/folders/lt/05z7qkqs0r33x7t3khp2bxm00000gp/C/com.apple.appstore/497 799835/dge2261667518591136895.pkg



The last column is the full path to the package it is currently downloading. In this case, it's:


/private/var/folders/lt/05z7qkqs0r33x7t3khp2bxm00000gp/C/com.apple.appstore/4977 99835/


Also note that the package has been given a random name: dge2261667518591136895.pkg. This is probably more so that the file name is unique and there are no version / naming conflicts than any nefarious obfuscation.



Wait for the download to complete. Then, go to that directory:


cd /private/var/folders/lt/05z7qkqs0r33x7t3khp2bxm00000gp/C/com.apple.appstore/497 799835/



Once the download is complete, and the installer starts up, copy it out of the directory to someplace useful:


cp dge2261667518591136895.pkg ~/Desktop/MyApp.pkg



(The command above copies it to the dekstop as MyApp.pkg)


Note: You could do those last two steps in finder, but if you're going to play hacker games, use hacker commands.

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Question marked as Apple Recommended

Aug 23, 2012 10:38 PM in response to Dave Marsh In response to Dave Marsh

By default for most of the time it should be /Applications folder. However, with your case, I think the combo update should not even be available (since you already had the OS and only needed the delta update), so it might be different. Just give it a try.

Aug 23, 2012 10:38 PM

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Aug 24, 2012 1:07 AM in response to Kivanc Muslu In response to Kivanc Muslu

Yes, most new installs are placed in the /Applications folder, and that was the first place I checked. When I checked initially for updates, the App Store/Updates identified both the delta update AND the Combo updater. I ran the delta update to 10.8.1, restarted the iMac, then ran the App Store/Updates again. This time it listed ONLY the Combo (4.37GB) updater, so I downloaded it as well, planning to just save it for some future emergency. After the Combo finished downloading, the installer automatically started, which I cancelled, since I was already running 10.8.1.


I then looked around for this huge file. It wasn't in the /Applications folder, nor in the Downloads folder. I searched Spotlight and found a file this size named Install Mountain Lion on my external drive in my Software/Apple Software folder with an update date of 8/16/2012 (last week), but nothing with this name dated today. I had created this folder to manually save/manage installers, so I honestly don't remember if this huge file was simply my original Mountain Lion Combo (10.8.0) installer, but I seem to think it's been more than a week since I installed Mountain Lion. However, the bottom line is that THAT Combo was NOT dated today, even though the Get Info on the file said it was changed TODAY.


Which brings me back to my core question, where/how do we set the default location for saving downloads from the AppStore? There is no Preferences section in the app, and nothing I can find in System Preferences to change this location. I have Safari set to download to the Desktop just so I don't have that problem, so I can manually consolidate where I save thse files.

Aug 24, 2012 1:07 AM

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Question marked as Apple Recommended

Sep 19, 2012 3:40 PM in response to Dave Marsh In response to Dave Marsh

You can check for the temporary file that the storeagent downloads by going to the Activity Monitor and looking at the open files tab. There you'll find the installer package. But since this is a temporary location I do not know how it's handled after the download is complete.


User uploaded file

User uploaded file


I ran the XCode update and the folder stayed there for the full installation. So it might be possible to grab the package if the installer isn't finished so the storeagent keeps the file araound till the installer finishes up but deletes it right after.

Sep 19, 2012 3:40 PM

Reply Helpful (2)

Jun 25, 2013 10:26 PM in response to Dave Marsh In response to Dave Marsh

I wanted this information because I had a problem upgrading iPhoto to 9.4.3 and not even the Genious Bar™ was able to make it update. It was suggested I may need to reinstall Mac OS entirely. If I was going to have to do that, which would take days as I use a lot of large proprietary software implementations such as Adobe Creative Suite which would also have to be deactivated, reinstalled and reactivated, I decided to try to fix it myself. So I checked my Time Machine backup, turned off Time Machine and had a poke around on my disk. I know that Apple prefers we don't look at our filesystems this way, however, it has been maintained in many court decisions that the contents of our hard drives are ours to do with as we please. USE THIS INFORMATION AT YOUR OWN RISK. IT'S MORE LIKELY THAT THIS INFORMATION WILL HELP YOU HELP A TECHNICIAN SOLVE THE PROBLEM THAN FIXING IT YOURSELF WITHOUT A KNOWLEDGE OF BSD AND UNIX.


I know it's been a while, however, there is better information available about App Store download locations, this information should be handled very carefully as you'll be viewing areas of your filesystem that are not considered ‘end-user friendly’.


For instance, I had a problem with my Internet connection and received a corrupted PKG for my iPhoto 9.4.3 update. The update refused to install even after I uninstalled iPhoto and asked it to reinstall.


I viewed my Console when attempting to upgrade iPhoto and saw that it was attempting to access a PKG file called:


mzpsxxxx03867858650xxxx.pkg


from a Console system message entry that looked like:

26/06/13 12:34:39.041 PM App Store[4183]: PKDistributionController: Found asset mzpsxxxx03867858650xxxx.pkg on disk for item 4xxxxxx1 - Size 2xxxxxx2


Upon searching my filesystem with a command in terminal, I discovered that the corrupted PKG file was located at:

/private/var/folders/6x/g122yp5sxxxxxxv149g440000gp/C/com.apple.appstore/40898xx xx/



This location is likely to be referenced by an internal OS database, and I basically just had to hope that removing the file would allow the database to clear the entry and force the PKG file to download again.


I deleted the file and restarted, asked iPhoto to install in the App Store, and everything went smoothly. After 20 or so other attempts, following Apple's support info, and asking colleagues, this was the ONLY solution to the problem without completely reinstalling Mac OS.


It's interesting that we don't find much information about these storage locations or information about solving App Store problems when PKG files get corrupted during transfer or installation, it's likely that Apple scrubs this information from the Apple Support Communities and I'll be curious to see how long this post lasts on the site.

Jun 25, 2013 10:26 PM

Reply Helpful (1)

Oct 17, 2014 5:06 PM in response to Dave Marsh In response to Dave Marsh

The correct answer is something more like this:


Macintosh HD ▸ private ▸ var ▸ folders ▸ tj ▸ 56z6lgjj0175c7h_wcp814bh0000gn ▸ C ▸ com.apple.appstore ▸ 675248567



Took me a while to find it but I kept searching while the App Store was re-downloading Mavericks.

Oct 17, 2014 5:06 PM

Reply Helpful (1)
Question marked as Helpful

Jun 17, 2015 1:48 PM in response to Dave Marsh In response to Dave Marsh

Start the download.
From terminal, execute the following command: lsof | grep -i pkg



This will give you a result like:

storedown 480 Michael 6u REG 1,2 1740996608 2552780 /private/var/folders/lt/05z7qkqs0r33x7t3khp2bxm00000gp/C/com.apple.appstore/497 799835/dge2261667518591136895.pkg



The last column is the full path to the package it is currently downloading. In this case, it's:


/private/var/folders/lt/05z7qkqs0r33x7t3khp2bxm00000gp/C/com.apple.appstore/4977 99835/


Also note that the package has been given a random name: dge2261667518591136895.pkg. This is probably more so that the file name is unique and there are no version / naming conflicts than any nefarious obfuscation.



Wait for the download to complete. Then, go to that directory:


cd /private/var/folders/lt/05z7qkqs0r33x7t3khp2bxm00000gp/C/com.apple.appstore/497 799835/



Once the download is complete, and the installer starts up, copy it out of the directory to someplace useful:


cp dge2261667518591136895.pkg ~/Desktop/MyApp.pkg



(The command above copies it to the dekstop as MyApp.pkg)


Note: You could do those last two steps in finder, but if you're going to play hacker games, use hacker commands.

Jun 17, 2015 1:48 PM

Reply Helpful (7)

Dec 21, 2015 9:25 AM in response to Dave Marsh In response to Dave Marsh

The easiest way to find where your downloads are stored is to enable the App Store debug menu with this terminal command:


defaults write com.apple.appstore ShowDebugMenu -bool true

Then, in the Debug menu, use the Show download folder... command.


There are some other handy tools in the menu, including Reset Application if things really get tangled up.


-Ric

Dec 21, 2015 9:25 AM

Reply Helpful (3)
User profile for user: Dave Marsh

Question: Where does App Store download files to?