Tuesday, December 29, 2020 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Mac App Store Updates Failing on Mojave

Jeff Johnson:

Many macOS Mojave users, including myself, have experienced frequent failures of App Store to update their installed apps. Whenever this occurs, App Store shows the completely unhelpful error message “cancelled”.


One of the most frustrating aspects of being an App Store developer is that whenever users experience a problem with App Store installs and updates, they contact us instead of Apple, even though developers have no control whatsoever over the App Store app. All we developers can do is press the “Release” button in App Store Connect, and then Apple has total control afterward. Even if you’re not running Mojave, I hope you come away from this blog post with the realization that developers are as much at the “mercy” of Apple as users are when it comes to the App Store app, and the only thing we can do to fix these problems is to complain to Apple and hope the company takes mercy on us.


Update (2021-01-01): Greg Hurrell:

Seen this many times since (begrudgingly) updating to Mojave.


What happens for me when an update fails is I get an alert saying a purchase (unspecifed) could not be completed.

Which might be a clue as to where the problem lies.

I've encountered this as well, and the fixes I googled (essentially deleting partial downloads) did not work.

What *did* work was to log out of iCloud and log back in.

Rob Griffiths posted a number of steps that worked for him last month:

Fix a “could not complete your purchase” App Store error https://robservatory.com/fix-a-could-not-complete-your-purchase-app-store-error/

Deleting the CommerceRequestCache directory from ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.appstore/ (as suggested by Dan in the comments section) works for me about half the time.

I encounter this problem frequently. I’ve put it down to App Store trouble. I’ll try the fixes described here — thanks.

Another persistent Mojave problem: impossible to open the Finder and select a file for uploading or attaching in Safari 14.0.1 and 14.0.2. Since about mid-November.

When I first started experiencing this, I tried the cache deletion dance and like Miles found it sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t. More recently I’ve been doing a variant of what Fazal does: I log out of my account in the App Store app and log back in. Fairly simple and seems to work so far. (Not to excuse this issue, it’s been very frustrating!)

I just experienced this, then disabled a VPN, and the problem disappeared.

I’ve since switched to the “mas” cli utility to update apps on my Mojave Mac Pro. The initial move was the fact that the App Store cannot detect hardware, I upgraded my mid-2012 Pro to a Metal 2 supported graphics card to run Mojave, however Pixelmator would constantly fail because the App Store figured I didn’t have the supported hardware to run it. Issuing “mas upgrade” worked like a charm and Pixelmators support also confirmed this as a workaround.

I’ve experienced this issue on 3 different Mojave computers. I’ve also found that logging out and into my account in the App Store has been the fix that’s worked best.

I’ve had similar App Store issues where I can’t download a purchase I’ve just made, or install apps on a newly setup machine. Sometimes I just have to wait it out, and in the cases I’ve experienced so far, after a few days the issue resolves itself. It’s a frustratingly opaque problem, like most iCloud problems.

@Michael Leddy

I’ve had the same Safari issue (not to mention the MAS update problems described in the post). I’ve taken to using Firefox for uploads & file selection. Real pain in the butt.

Yep. Get this. Bloody annoying. Just retry it a few times--eventually it'll work. But it has forced me to turn off automatic updates of apps and I'll now have to respond to the notification when it appears, but at least it won't kill any processes before failing to update. Simply no credible QA, as per.

I've had the same problem, and last night I was looking for a solution and came upon a post that said updates worked after they changed networks. So I took my router and put it on HS+Area mode which gives a boost in reception, and the update worked immediately.

It seems for me at least that indeed the updates (and purchases) failing have something to do with a poor connection.

As Sebby said, "Just retry it a few times--eventually it'll work."

There's no magical solution. It has nothing to do with a poor connection; my internet connection is totally fine, and App Store is the only problem I ever see. If it was a connection failure, then "cancelled" is not the error message you'd see. This issue is entirely with Apple's software. People have suggested various solutions, but they're all just variations of "Just retry it a few times--eventually it'll work." No causation, simply coincidence.

I've had the issue on both wired and wireless. Initially, it would fix itself by retrying a few times, but in the past several months, no number of retries will fix it, just have to wait for whatever's wrong to sort itself out.

Stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Comments RSS Feed for this post.

Leave a Comment