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How to Reinstall Apps from the Mac App Store

The Mac App Store is a good way to find applications for your Mac - maybe a little too good, in fact. The applications you download from the App Store can start to accumulate, and over time you may need to start deleting them. But feelings change. If you want to reinstall an application that you downloaded from the App Store and then later deleted, this is the tutorial for you.

[Editor's Note: This is a common problem experienced by those who downloaded the OS X Lion installer from the Mac App Store. If you can't find the OS X Lion installer in your Applications folder, use these instructions to download the installer again.]

Telltale Signs that an App Needs to be Reinstalled

There are several indications that an application from the Mac App Store needs to be reinstalled. Looks for these signs to tell whether or not you need to reinstall an application:

  • The application is not in your Applications folder.

  • You use Spotlight to search for the application and cannot find it on your hard disk. (For instructions, see How to Find Files on Your Mac.)

  • The App Store indicates that the application is already installed on your hard disk, as shown below.

  • The application is displayed in your App Store purchases list, as shown below. The button in this window also indicates that the application is installed.

If your missing application fits this description, it's time to reinstall it! Go ahead and follow the instructions in the next section.

How to Reinstall Apps from the Mac App Store

Here's how to reinstall an application from the Mac App Store:

  1. Open the App Store application. (It's on the Dock, or in the Applications folder.)

  2. Hold down the Option key and click Purchases.

  3. An Install button appears next to the missing application, as shown below.

  4. Click Install.

The "missing" application won't be missing for much longer. It's now downloading to your computer! When the download is finished, you'll be able to find the application in Launchpad and the Applications folder.

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Meet Your Macinstructor

Matt Cone, the author of Master Your Mac, has been a Mac user for over 20 years. A former ghost writer for some of Apple's most notable instructors, Cone founded Macinstruct in 1999, a site with OS X tutorials that boasts hundreds of thousands of unique visitors per month. You can email him at: [email protected].


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