How to Fix Mac App Store Download Problems

App Store on MacBook

Have you experienced problems on your Mac when you are updating apps but it won’t download the updates or the Mac app store won’t download anything, at all?

You are not alone because it is one of the most common problems encountered by Mac users whether it’s downloading or installing updates, apps, or files. There are also cases when the notification says the app or file has been downloaded but you just can’t find where it is, or when the installation process just quits all of a sudden even when you have a strong internet connection.

How To Fix The Download Problem

The easiest solution would be to empty your App Store’s temporary download cache folder. This solution works most of the time and it is easy to do. But before you start fixing your Mac download problems, run a scan of your computer first to make sure there are no corrupt files or cache affecting your App Store. You can use Outbyte MacRepair to scan and clean up your computer for all types of junk.

Once you’ve run the scan and deleted all unwanted files, don’t forget to backup your important files before you start fixing your App Store. This seems like a very simple problem with a very easy solution, but you’ll never know what could happen so always backup your files just to be safe.

After these preparations, log out of the App Store and then log back in. Then, follow these steps to solve your App Store download problems:

  1. Go to Spotlight and type in Terminal.
  2. Type in the following command: defaults write com.apple.appstore ShowDebugMenu -boot true ; killall AppStore ; exit.
  3. Open App Store and sign out of it by going to Store > Sign Out.
  4. Then go to Debug Menu.
  5. Select Clear Cookies and Reset Application.
  6. Next, type the following commands in the Terminal one at a time. These commands will reset the plists:
    • rm ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.appstore.plist
    • rm ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.storeagent.plist
    • rm ~/Library/Cookies/com.apple.appstore.plist
  7. Then type in: open $TMPDIR../C/com.apple.appstore/. This opens your Mac App Store’s temporary download cache folder.
  8. Delete these files:
    • apple.appstore.plist
    • apple.installer.plist
  9. Or you can type in the following commands to delete these cached files:
    • rm -r ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.appstore
    • rm -r ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.storeagent
  10. Close the folder and restart your Mac.
  11. Then, try re-downloading your files that were causing problems before.

If this doesn’t solve the problem and your Mac App Store won’t download anything, the next solution is re-indexing. Your Mac uses Spotlight to determine what apps you have installed. And perhaps, due to a bug or a corrupted file, your operating system thinks that the app you are trying to download is already in your system which is why it is not letting you download it again.

To re-index your applications, follow these steps.

  1. Go the Apple Menu and go to System Preferences > Spotlight > Privacy tab. This opens the Spotlight preferences pane.
  2. Add your primary HD (the default name is Macintosh HD) by clicking the + and selecting your HD. This will stop your OS X from indexing that particular drive.
  3. Close the System Preferences window.
  4. Click the Apple Logo and choose Log Out.
  5. Log back in and navigate back to the Spotlight preferences window.
  6. Click the button and select your HD.
  7. Close the System Preferences window.

The system will begin re-indexing everything in your HD. If you see a dot in the center of the magnifying glass, which can be found at the top right of the menu bar, then that means the re-indexing is ongoing.

Open the App Store to re-download the app or update what you were downloading previously.

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