Programmatically get the name of the Application Folder in OSX

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In the USA and Europe the application folder is named Applications, but under Chinese or Japanese localization how is it named?

Is there a way to programmatically get the name of the folder?

The directory names in the filesystem are always in English. The directories can have localized names attached to them for displaying to the user, but those aren't the names you use to access the directories. From Internationalization Programming Topics:

You need to be aware of localized path names in your application and display them appropriately. Localized path names are for display purposes only and should never be used when accessing the file system. You should continue to use the actual pathname when working with files and directories in your code, including when you need to write to caches or user preferences. The only time you should use a localized path name is when you want to display that path to the user through your application’s user interface.

That said, you get get the path programmatically using NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains:

NSArray *paths = NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(NSApplicationDirectory, NSLocalDomainMask, YES);
// Returns an NSArray containing the string "/Applications"

You can also use -[NSFileManager URLsForDirectory:inDomains:]:

NSArray *urls = [[NSFileManager defaultManager] URLsForDirectory:NSApplicationDirectory inDomains:NSLocalDomainMask];
// Returns an NSArray containing the NSURL "file://localhost/Applications"

If you need the localized names to display to the user, look at Internationalization Programming Topics.

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[[[NSFileManager defaultManager] URLsForDirectory: NSApplicationDirectory inDomains:NSLocalDomainMask] lastObject];

I think should work (reference). If you're on a previous version of OS X and URLsForDirectory is unsupported, NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains() is an alternative.

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To get the localized name of a folder (or an application with localized names) appropriate for presentation to the user, use:

NSString *localizedName = [[NSFileManager defaultManager] displayNameAtPath:path];

For the Applications folder, you can use:

NSString *localizedApplicationDirectoryName = [[NSFileManager defaultManager] displayNameAtPath:NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(NSApplicationDirectory, NSLocalDomainMask, YES).lastObject];

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Swift:

let urls = FileManager().urls(for: .applicationDirectory, in: .localDomainMask)

▿ 1 element ▿ 0 : file:///Applications/

let urls = FileManager().urls(for: .allApplicationsDirectory, in: .localDomainMask)

▿ 4 elements ▿ 0 : file:///Applications/ ▿ 1 : file:///Applications/Utilities/ ▿ 2 : file:///Developer/Applications/ ▿ 3 : file:///Applications/Demos/

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Comments
  • the first example doesn't work with ARC, are you sure about the return type?
  • Check the documentation. If you're getting an error, edit your question and paste in your code and the error.
  • I found the error sorry. Is "Path" not "Paths" NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains
  • +1. Nice job getting a ton of relevant information into a concise answer. It might be better a bit more emphasis on the fact that you should get the path programmatically (Apple reserves the right to rename /Applications to "/HaHa/Your Code Doesn't Work On Housecat" in 10.9…), but since the OP was specifically asking for that, I don't think he'll have any problem finding it. Also, NSFileManager is "preferred" over NSSearchPathForDirectories (even the NSSearchPathForDirectories docs say so), but it's not deprecated or anything, so that's fine.
  • @MatterGoal I have fixed the typo.