How to find out the installation date of macOS and apps on Mac


Often, users of Windows computers boast in front of Macs that their machine can be flexibly configured for themselves, while macOS is deprived of such an opportunity. It is difficult to verify the veracity of this judgment, since the use cases for each are different and in general it will not work here.

However, everyone needs to be aware of macOS chips. Few people know, but the apple operating system has a feature that allows you to see both the date of the last installation of the operating system itself and the date of installation of each application separately.

This can come in handy if you are not the only user of the computer, or, for example, you suspect that someone else has been digging into the computer. And, of course, if you are going to buy a used Mac, you need to know this.

How to find out when macOS was last installed

Everyone needs to know the date of the last installation of macOS. After all, it is not excluded that someday you decide to buy a used Mac. So you can easily check if the seller is deceiving you and if there was a need to reinstall the operating system. Plus, the feature will come in handy in case you notice something wrong with your computer.

To check the date of the last macOS installation , you need to:

  • Launch the Terminal application (via Spotlight search or via Launchpad in the Others folder).
  • Paste this ls -l /var/db/.AppleSetupDone command into the Terminal application, press the Enter key.
  • After that, a string with the date will appear in the application window.

The date of the last installation will appear on the third line.

IMPORTANT : Apple computers are smart. The system will ignore macOS updates. Suppose if you upgraded from macOS 12.1 to macOS 12.2, this will not be reflected in the statistics. Moreover, even if you upgrade to macOS 13, which will be released next fall, the system will still not take this into account, you will not find the update date here.

How to know when any program or update was installed on macOS

Another useful feature of Apple’s computer operating system is checking the installation date of each application and its version. Often, novice Mac users ask how to find out the version of the program on Mac . Specially for this occasion – tell.

To find out when an application was installed on macOS , follow the simple instructions:

    • Click the apple icon in the top menu of macOS.
    • Go to About This Mac, then click the Overview tab.
    • Next, in the window that opens, click on the “System Report” button.
  • Go to Software, Settings. This menu contains all the programs that are installed on your computer. The date of their installation is opposite.

The installation date of all applications is located here.

Also, this menu can be accessed in a slightly different way. First, open Programs in Finder, then Utilities and go to the System Information program .

The app search is there, so you can sort the list alphabetically or by installation date to find a specific program. To do this, click on the Software Name or Installation Date section, and everything will be set up the way you want it.

I use these features almost after every system update. You ask: why? After each update, some of the programs simply refuse to work for me. This has been the case since I rolled up macOS Catalina. This happened due to the transfer of applications for macOS to 64-bit. If you’re still on Mojave, this will definitely come in handy.

This menu is convenient because you can see the version of the application in macOS . If some application does not work for me, then I search the Internet for either an older application, or I look for alternatives. Well, do not forget about the most obvious use case. If suddenly someone downloads some programs to your Mac, you can always track it.

If you have some life hacks in mind that will make life easier for a simple Mac user, feel free to write about them in the comments below. I’m sure our readers will find it useful!

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