Updating Sparkle

Just got the notice about the newest version of Sparkle, the program that I LOVE!! However, when I go to “check for updates,” I get this message…Sparkle can’t be updated, because it was opened from a read-only or a temporary location. Use Finder to copy Sparkle to the Applications folder, relaunch it from there, and try again.

How do I copy Sparkle to the App folder, when it’s nowhere to be found? I have a Mac operating Mojave 10.14.5.


Open a finder window (cmd+n when finder is active), type “sparkle” in the search field then mouse click on the app. You should see where sparkle is located on your disk, so you can drag it to your applications folder, if it really isn’t in there:

@Mimi, from what you have described your Sparkle application is not in your Applications folder. As Pumpkin explains in finding it but once you have drag it into your Applications folder and you won’t see that error anymore when updating your Sparkle app…

Just to provide some background on that, I think it was Sierra or High Sierra, Apple added a security feature for some obscure exploit. The security feature is sometimes referred to “app translocation”, when an app has a “quarantine” flag, instead of running from the folder you launched it from, it is moved to a read only disk with a random mount point path, somewhere inside /tmp.

Apps that appear inside the downloads folder gain a quarantine flag (not sure who assigns the flag).

The finder will remove the quarantine flag when you move the app outside of the download folder.

The read-only part is what makes the update mechanism complain, clearly that won’t work.

The wording of the updating error message is unfortunately also something we haven’t written, as it’s part of the updater library we use.

So the fix is to move Sparkle from Downloads to Applications. This doesn’t always work (the Finder sometimes misses removing the quarantine flag), but does most of the time.


Thank you! I love this community for reasons like you! It worked.

Yup, you were correct. With your and Pumpkin’s help I was able to solve my issue. Thanks!!

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Duncan, you’ve helped in the past and now that I’m a member of the Sparkle community, I won’t have to bug you but thanks so much for all your help to a fledgling Sparkle user! So, glad this community exists.

Hi Mimi,

Come on over and join us on Facebook too: https://www.facebook.com/groups/467146677024837/

Yup, somehow I did find out about the Facebook page and have checked it out frequently. Thanks, Marshall!

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