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I recently got a Mountain Lion laptop from work and every time the App Store checks for updates, it reports updates as available for iMovie and iPhoto.

However, I have neither installed and when I allow the App Store to attempt to upgrade, it complains You can not update this software since you have not owned the major version of this software. I'm not particularly interested in using either piece of software, but it's annoying to constantly be asked to update and then to have the updates fail.

Screenshot:

App Store complains that it cannot update iMovie and iPhoto

Can one of your fine folks please recommend a course of action? If there's any further information I can provide, please let me know.

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When you say neither is installed, have you made sure neither exists on any mounted volume by looking in Spotlight and/or mdfind iMovie.app –  bmike Jul 21 '13 at 23:15
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If the apps show up in "Purchases" up can Control + Click in the item in the Purchases list and select "Hide Purchase..."

That may do it for you.

(Seem's like whoever had the laptop before you was up to some software shenanigans).

FWIW There is a file (/Library/Application Support/App Store/adoption.plist) that looks like it keeps track of pre installed versions of iLife so you can get updates from the App Store.

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The "you have not owned a major version" of the app precludes them having it as a purchased item in all cases I've seen. Have you seen this or are you speculating? –  bmike Jul 21 '13 at 23:14
    
If the Apps were not preinstalled or installed front he App Store then the updates would be triggered from the Receipts (/Library/Receipts/) and would show up as a Software update rather then an App Store update. This indicates that the apps were at one time installed from the App Store as purchased items (or registered as such when the Laptop was new). –  sdmeyers Jul 24 '13 at 14:20
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