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Mac Install Location

Message 1 of 56
6035 Views, 55 Replies

Mac Install Location

Every other program is able to install itself into the main /Applications folder on macs.  Literally every one.


Why does Fusion360 install to /users/(username)/Library/Application Support/Autodesk/webdeploy/production/kjsdahgtfi832q47t659823465792384579, where absolutely no one will ever be able to find it?


Previous solutions were "install from the Mac App Store," but now that it's no longer an option, users are forced to create an alias (which ruins the workflow), but only if they know to do this before they close the program and remove it from the dock.


I really don't care why this is the way it is, I have other Autodesk programs that were able to install themselves to the proper location.  Every other program I've ever installed has also installed itself into the proper location.  This is a problem unique to Fusion360 that I have never had to deal with and shouldn't even be a problem to begin with.


Just fix it.

Labels (1)
Message 2 of 56
in reply to: bback3C2RW



I'm not sure what the issue you are facing?


The question of why has been asked and answered half a dozen times and please, saying "just fix it" is not helpful for us or for the community. I too understand the install location on Mac can be frustrating for a variety of reasons.


However, i'm not all that clear on why you are finding it frustrating in this thread. 

Ryan Bales
Fusion 360 Product Support
Message 3 of 56
in reply to: ryan.bales

One issue that I keep bumping into is having to manually enter the old installation location, copy my custom thread profiles, and move it to the new install location every time the software updates itself. OSX has a well specified application installation system, and Fusion doesn't conform to the best practices.

Message 4 of 56
in reply to: ryan.bales

The issue I'm facing is that Fusion 360 installs itself into an obscure folder that cannot be found unless you know what you're looking for.  I thought that was clear.


The issue has been asked many times and never has anyone ever gotten a satisfactory answer.  There may be a reason "why" it happens, but the best result in those threads is an automator script, and sorry if I disagree that users should have to write custom scripts just top open an application.  It shouldn't be too hard to understand why users, who are used to finding literally every other application in the main /Applications folder, are frustrated by having to write scripts and dig through Application Support folders to find the install.


So I guess what I meant when I said "just fix it" was "make it so Fusion installs itself into the main /Applications folder, like (again) LITERALLY EVERY OTHER APPLICATION.  What I consider to be broken an in need of "fixing" is installing to a completely obscure folder and require users to do an internet search for "fusion 360 install location" to find where it went.  Because you also shouldn't require that users keep the application in the dock forever.


The reason I am finding it frustrating is that I wanted to open Fusion 360 a half hour ago.  It shouldn't take people more than five seconds to get to an application to open it, even if it takes a minute or so for the program to launch.  


But now I'm curious why anyone at Autodesk thinks this is an unreasonable request?  For a program to install itself in the same place as everything else?


Sorry if my reply comes across as a bit snippy, but this is honestly the stupidest decision ever made.  Like, ever.  You remember New Coke?  This is stupider than that.

Message 5 of 56
in reply to: bback3C2RW

I think this needs a tap on the brakes. Two big things come to mind that have changed since this thread began;

  1. The application can be placed there and is findable in spotlight.
  2. And it IS now in applications, just in user and can be moved to the root:Screen Shot 2019-12-06 at 9.47.09 AM.png

And here i am moving it to applications 


It launches just fine from there or from spotlight. 


Ryan Bales
Fusion 360 Product Support
Message 6 of 56
in reply to: ryan.bales

[necroposting because nothing has been done about this months later]
The problem is that if you put an app in the user's home directory, it's not installed for all users. There is no reason we should have to reinstall Fusion for each user on a machine.
Also it occasionally breaks when moved to /Applications. Sometimes it simply stops launching until the installer is run again to put it back in ~/Library.

Having to manually search through a bunch of unintuitively-named directories to find posts and other custom files is also ridiculous.

The core of the problem is that there is no reason for Fusion to install this way, and it annoys your customers. I understand that Fusion runs as sort of a runtime app from the current build folder, but there is absolutely no reason that directory structure couldn't live in an application package like every other macOS app.
A folder is a folder. A macOS application package is a folder. Just put it in an application package like every other developer—and I do mean every. I have never encountered another macOS app that works like this in twenty years.

Message 7 of 56
in reply to: markaudacity

Just wanted to add to the pile, 5 months after the latest post. It is really, really annoying. I have only been using Fusion for two months, and already had to move it three times. Between searching the net as to why the application wasn't starting and "just moving it to another folder", that amounted to a not insignificant amount of time and patience. Autodesk, we beg you to listen to your users and change that installation behaviour. At the risk of repeating OP's comment, literally every program we install behaves differently. This isn't an idiosyncrasy. Please.

Message 8 of 56
in reply to: bback3C2RW

Funny. I just had to do this again (move it to /Applications) and decided to create an Automator script for it. Took 30 seconds and I can run that quickly with CMD-Space after running updates from now on. Agreed, it seems unnecessary since no other application I run does that.

Message 9 of 56
in reply to: googtbrown

I'm pretty sure all of us here are seasoned Mac users, each with their own idiosyncrasies and strengths. Another thing we seem to have in common is agreeing that such "quirk" is not an insurmountable mountain. But it does cause us to waste time looking for the answer. And it is preventable. With very little extra cost on behalf of the developer. The benefit far outweighs the cost, that is what's so surreal about this thread even existing. I don't know, if you know better and I'm talking out of my butt, please correct me.

Message 10 of 56
in reply to: bback3C2RW

Hi All. The question that comes to mind is, what is the strategic reason to save any application to the user's applications folder. I've only ever (at Apple since '85 & 1st Mac) had an application install to this folder. When I added the Windows 10 virtual machine to Parallels it put a "Windows 10" application there.


To be more concise, the path is: HDD/Users/Username/Applications folder. So, perhaps there is a bit of a clue in that - a paradigm clue. if you will. But that isn't strategic, rather it is a 'not-think' sort of model for why they would compromise a great CAD UX, with a recurring, time wasting, frustrating UX. It is difficult for me to believe that it is intentional, or that AutoD is unaware, or doesn't care. Any ideas about what advantages, protections, simplifications that they gain in using this path?


Oh... and thanks for the initial post and descriptions of similar experiences. It was one keyword search and  !flash! instant clarity.

Message 11 of 56

I totally agree. Having to waste time to search and find a solution to this easily avoidable problem is very very annoying. And why?

Please install fusion like every other app in the main Applications folder... thank you. 

Message 12 of 56
in reply to: ryan.bales

I also find it annoying on both my Mac and windows machines. On both machines I am almost out of disk space and want to install it onto another drive to free up space on the main drive.

Message 13 of 56
in reply to: bback3C2RW

I just switched my Fusion 360 workflow from my PC to my Mac, and I wasted 30 minutes trying to figure out where the application went after I closed it for the first time, and why it wasn't in the standard Applications folder. I don't care what the reasoning for not putting it there is. You're frustrating and disrespecting your users by going against a standard platform convention. Please fix this.

Message 14 of 56
in reply to: bback3C2RW

So, I'm pretty new to Fusion 360 (literally just started digging in today after installing a couple weeks ago) and guess what the first thing I did was... I looked in the Macintosh HD > Applications folder to launch Fusion 360 and oddly enough couldn't find it.

Then I had to SEARCH my mac for Fusion 360, only to find it was installed to:
Macintosh HD > Users > [My user] > Applications

I was like, WTAF??? 🤔
(then I had to Google the issue, which landed me here)

To address your comments @ryan.bales -- This actually IS a problem, and pretty much every reply in this thread states a valid reason why. But to sum everything up into one main issue:


It breaks established application design patterns


Everything else all stems from that. So, instead of brushing off @bback3C2RW 's concerns (as well as all others raised in this thread), I think you should first bring this issue to your product development team, and then come back to us with a valid development reason for WHY this is the way that it is, and WHEN your team plans to implement a fix.

Message 15 of 56
in reply to: btrinca

xxactly btrinca,


This is one of those 'yaTS'... yet another Time Sinc (hole). We have them on all of our soft fronts - OS, installed & web apps, drivers, & extensions. To be confronted with a TS once when you install a new app and are forced to figure it out over minutes to months is one thing, but we have evolved from the shrink-wrap phase of our info civilization into the evolved-app phase. New apps are only rough approximations of their mature form, and updates occur on a weeks timescale bring major improvements everywhere, including UI/X. This is the context for our shared UX with AD's f360 app path 'platform convention'.


So I would like to amend my thoughts earlier in this thread - "It is difficult for me to believe that it is intentional, or that AutoD is unaware, or doesn't care.". My current model is that our collective experience is not passing thru the first level bug/issue filter because f360's user base is still very small. Design is highly production oriented, with the majority of customers being major companies. Both of these serve to limit changes to small steps & slow the adoption of big shifts in paradigms - like from resident apps & seats to cloudified web apps.


@ryan.bales foot on the brakes & obfuscations notwithstanding, this is a problem. We have run out of time. Time in our days to do things we want, we need, & we must do. Little vampire taps like this f360 app path fuxup are important. But our numbers & thus our voice is small, but its growing. f360 is getting much better and accelerated adoption may follow.


be xxelent! - michael


Message 16 of 56
in reply to: mJYUA9

Ryan - allow me to answer your "why" question.

As almost every other seasoned Mac OS user in this thread has mentioned, the F360 product install does not follow the Mac OS best practice or convention. This makes managing the application a pain at every level from update, to daily use.  

In the same fashion almost every aspect of this product breaks time tested conventions and norms, from the view cube to keyboard and mouse shortcuts... Mostly for no other reason that to be different. It is beyond frustrating.

I am not as optimistic as @mJYUA9.  Widespread commercial adoption is not going to follow for the simple fact that the delivery model holds the investment of the work product captive behind SaaS and a licensing model that can (does) change on a whim and there are not enough hobby users willing to pay $600 a year to keep the lights on.  

Autodesk has a problem here - and they know it. Thus the attempt to shoehorn even the most basic hobby user into a $600/yr license and placate the larger prospective buyers by not giving away the same product for free.

So yeah - not holding my breath for a Mac install path fix or a Mac printing fix, or any other of 100 things that need to be fixed. But hey... facebook forum integration is coming, because THAT my friends is important.

Message 17 of 56
in reply to: ryan.bales

Ryan - As mentioned, this is still nowhere near the normal Mac OS best practice, convention, expected behavior or comfortable workflow. 

TLDR - just do it the way everyone else does. Problem Solved.

Message 18 of 56
in reply to: ryan.bales

@ryan.bales Just wanted to include yet another example of WHY this issue is frustrating (so you can add it to the list).


As I have been going thru the beginner courses to learn Fusion 360, I downloaded one of the lesson working files provided (Sketching_Basics_Parameters.f3d). I double-clicked to open the file, like I do with every other file on a mac, and got an error that there is no application to open this document (see attached screenshot).


I thought... This is weird bc it's clearly a Fusion 360 document. So, instead I opened Fusion 360, went to File > Open... , located the file on my HD, and was finally able to open the file using that method. As you can guess this took wayyyyyyy more time than simply double-clicking a file to have it open directly in the application.


My only guess as to why I had this experience is because Fusion 360 is not installing to the correct location which should be: Macintosh HD > Applications.


Please tell me that my assumption is wrong.

Message 19 of 56

I'm new to AutoDesk as of today, and I was immediately stricken with how shady and counterintuitive this installation location is. I could see that 4 GB had disappeared from my SSD, but the installer gave me no indication of what it was doing or where it was doing it. This is a horribly designed installer from a UX perspective. 


Autodesk needs to conform to standard MacOS installation practices, for your own credibility. 

Message 20 of 56

See comment above. 

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