7 Best Ways to Fix Mac App Store Not Downloading Issue

7 Best Ways to Fix Mac App Store Not Downloading Issue

Apple’s MacBook line is a perfect example of the company’s “It Just Works” philosophy. Unlike iOS, macOS is open to more customization for end users. For example, you can download and install an app from the Mac App Store and the web. I would advise sticking to the Mac App Store to download apps to the Mac for added security and convenience. Installing the software from the Mac App Store usually takes just a few clicks. But what happens when something goes wrong?

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Mac App Store download problem

Sometimes, you may face issues while downloading apps from Mac App Store. You may come across files that show they have been downloaded despite evidence to the contrary, or face verification errors or other installation difficulties.

Whether the apps fail to download, you get errors while purchasing apps, or even come across the App Store page, we’ll show you how to fix common Mac App Stor download issues.

Before starting the troubleshooting steps, it is always a good idea to back up your Mac in case something goes wrong.

1. Check the internet connection

Most Mac applications range from hundreds of MB to a few GB. If you are using a slow or poor internet connection, you may experience problems downloading from the Mac App Store. First, launch Safari or your favorite Mac browser and check if you can access any website without issue. If you can access multiple web pages on the browser, your internet connection is good. Otherwise, turn off your Mac’s Wi-Fi and turn it back on.

You can also check Speedtest or Fast.com to check current internet speeds. You can also restart the Wi-Fi router or implement some of the Wi-Fi signal troubleshooting tips to boost your router’s network signal.

2. Clear the Mac App Store Temporary Download Cache folder

You can try to clear the Mac App Store temporary download cache folder and try downloading the app again. Follow the steps below to clear the Mac App Store download cache folder.

Step 1: Go to the Applications folder and find the Terminal app. You can also use Command + Space and search for Terminal.

2nd step: Copy the command below.

open $TMPDIR../C/com.apple.appstore/


Step 3: It will open the Mac App Store download cache folder.

Step 4: Select them and move the folders to the trash.

Cache folder

Step 5: Once you close the folder, you can download any apps that were causing problems again.

3. Force quit the Mac App Store

If your Macbook is unable to download the apps from the App Store, force quitting and relaunching the app may restore it to normal functionality. There are several ways to force close the App Store on your Mac. Check them out below.

Use the keyboard shortcut

The easiest way to force quit an active app (the App Store in this case) is to use the Command + Option + Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut. Hold these four keys together while the App Store window is open and the app and other related processes will be terminated until you launch it again.

Use the Force quit applications menu

Step 1: With the App Store window open in the foreground, tap the Apple icon in the menu bar and select “Force Quit” or “Force Quit App Store”.

This will launch the “Force quit applications” menu.

2nd step: Make sure the App Store is highlighted and press the Force Quit button.

Force quit

Step 3: Select Force Quit on the confirmation prompt to continue.

Force stop using activity monitor

Step 1: Press ‘Command + Spacebar’ to start the Spotlight search.

2nd step: Type Activity Monitor in the search box and double-tap Activity Monitor in the results pane.

Activity monitor

Step 3: Select the App Store from the list of processes and tap the “ x ” icon in the upper left corner of the activity monitor.

Step 4: Select Force Quit from the pop-up window.

Now you can check whether the download is restarted or not.

4. Disable the VPN

If your Mac is connected to a VPN, it will fail to download region-locked apps from the App Store. You can either stop your VPN or change your VPN’s Split Tunneling settings to exclude the App Store.

5. Check Apple’s system status page

Sometimes the problem may not be your end. Check out Apple’s system status page. Here, you can see information about the status of Apple services like iCloud, App Store, etc. If a particular service has a red icon next to it, it is down.

System state

In such cases, you have no choice but to wait for Apple to fix the problem on their end.

6. Error when purchasing apps

You may see a particular “We could not complete your purchase: Unknown error” message while purchasing apps. This issue occurs when you use multiple Apple IDs.

Make sure you prefer the same Apple ID that you used to purchase apps from the Mac App Store.

7. Update macOS

Failure to download apps from the Mac App Store may be due to a buggy version released by Apple. Usually, the company resolves these critical issues quickly. You need to go to the System Preferences menu and update macOS to the latest version.

Update macOS

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Start downloading apps again

Follow the steps above and fix the problematic Mac App Store download behavior. Whenever I run into such issues, the Force Quit trick does the job for me. And you? Which trick worked for you? Share your results in the comments section below.


Want to stay organized on your new Mac? Read the article below to find the best Mac apps to keep things organized.

Last updated Oct 25, 2020

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