Re-Downloading the OS X Lion Installer From the Mac App Store

| TMO Quick Tip

As discussed on Mac Geek Gab 343, it’s useful for many users to re-download the Lion installer from the Mac App Store in order to create a flash drive installer or simply to have a backup in case of a system failure. 

Unfortunately, by default the App Store prevents users from downloading software that is already installed on the Mac. The “Install” button in the store is replaced by a grayed-out “Installed,” which the user can’t select.

Thankfully, there is a workaround to this limitation that will allow users to re-download the Lion installer if they so choose. 

Default Lion Product Page

The default Lion Product Page, showing Lion’s installed status.

Open the Mac App Store and navigate to “Purchases.” Find the entry in your purchased software list for OS X Lion. Hold the Option key and click on the Lion icon to load Lion’s product page. 

Lion Product Page with Option

The Lion Product Page while holding the Option key.

You’ll notice that under the Lion icon, it now says “Install” instead of “Installed.” While continuing to hold Option, click on “Install” and the installer will begin to download.

Once downloaded, move the installer from your Applications folder and store it in a safe place for future use.

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Option key method does not work

Many have said this works. But holding the option key and clicking on the purchased Lion brings me to the Lion page and while still holding the option key the installed button still says “installed” and you are unable to re-download as you say in your website.
Sorry guys this doesn’t work!


Its working fine.


Agreed it works great, thanks guys!


does not work for me, either…


You should be able to also hold the Option key and click on the “Purchases” icon in the App Store “App”.  The button for Lion should change to “Install”.


Be sure to keep the Option key held down until the screen updates (gear wheel disappears) after clicking on the “Purchases” icon.


does not work for me, either?


I’m on 10.6.8, if that makes any difference…...

I’ve got Lion on a MacBook Pro


I have Lion (10.7.2) installed on 2 machines.  This tip works on one, but not the other.  Several weeks ago I used Time Machine to go back to Snow Leopard then back to Lion on the computer that this tip won’t work on.

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