Backup your OS X Lion Download on DVD or External Drive

Created: Tuesday, August 2, 2011, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 5:00 am

Updated: at



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You already learned how you can pause and resume your OS X Lion download from the Mac App Store. But as soon as your download is over, you will see the OS X Lion install screen that you see in Figure 1, below. Resist installing this upgrade for now, and choose the Install Mac OS X Lion | Quit Install Mac OS X Lion menu option for now.

Install screen for Mac OS X Lion
Figure 1: Install screen for Mac OS X Lion

Why did I ask you to quit the install? That is because it is best that you first create a backup of the 3.74 GB download! Yes, it is true. As soon as you finish installing OS X Lion, the downloaded install file will be cleaned up! You might want to install OS X Lion on other computers, or just retain a backup of the install file; after all, 3.74 GB is not a minuscule size, even by today’s standards.

So head to launch Finder, and go to your Applications folder; it is here that you will find the Install Mac OS X Lion app, as you can see in Figure 2. Note that all applications in this folder, as shown in Figure 2 have the app file extension. This is because I have globally enabled file extensions on my Mac.

Install Mac OS X Lion app
Figure 2: Install Mac OS X Lion app

Right-click or Ctrl-click this app, and choose the Show Package Contents option in the resultant context menu. Within the Contents | Shared Support folder, you will find the InstallESD.dmg file, as shown in Figure 3).

The InstallESD.dmg file
Figure 3:InstallESD.dmg file

Select and Alt-drag this file to any location on your computer. Remember Alt-drag will make a copy, just dragging will remove the DMG from the package; you don’t want to do that! Once extracted, you can burn this image to a DVD. You can also make a backup of this image on an external hard disk.


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