I have run into a frustrating problem with my App Store. I recently installed slightly older versions of Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and Xcode and App Store prompted me to update them to newer versions. I complied and the apps finally got updated albeit it took me an abnormally long time despite being on a high-speed broadband connection.

However, next time I tried running one of these applications, they seemed to have reverted back to their older versions and App Store automatically started updating them again. I let it complete – ALL OVER AGAIN, hoping it to be the last time I was having to do this. But the same problem again! Why are apps falling back to older versions after being updated through App Store? Is there any workaround?

1 Answer 1


Yes! Absolutely.

Please note, I have merely copied verbatim my answer from here and added a clip from here

These instructions are for use in /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app

Just open Terminal.app, and follow along!

Happy Administrating!

The App Store is simply not suitable for administration. Barely a quasi-package manager, it is not nearly as useful or reliable as real package managers like pkgsrc, FreeBSD ports, aptitude, RPM, macports or even softwareupdate. In my experience, it is unpredictable and a beard for commercial developers to hock their wares. So there is really only one rational and responsible way, as a competent administrator, to work with App Store:

 sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.store_helper.plist

 sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.storeagent.plist

 sudo mkdir /System/Library/LaunchAgents\ \(disabled\)/

 sudo mv /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.store* /System/Library/LaunchAgents\ \(disabled\)/

And just put it out of your mind, it won't trouble you any longer. ;-)


In order to update your Apple Software, you can use softwareupdate.

 man softwareupdate           # softwareupdate man page

 softwareupdate -h            # softwareupdate help 

 softwareupdate -l            # list available updates

 sudo softwareupdare -i -r    # use this install all recommended updates


If you're looking for a mature package management solution, for OS X I recommend MacPorts. MacPorts requires an appropriate version of xcode; xcode_5.1.1.dmg is the most recent version for Mavericks.

Get to know MacPorts

Install MacPorts

 curl -Ok https://distfiles.macports.org/MacPorts/MacPorts-2.2.1.tar.bz2

 tar xf MacPorts-2.2.1.tar.bz2

 cd MacPorts-2.2.1



 sudo make install     # *not war!*

 cd ..

 rm -rf Macports-*

 sudo /opt/local/bin/port -v selfupdate

add MacPorts to your $PATH:

 export PATH=/opt/local/bin:/opt/local/sbin:$PATH

If for whatever reason you need to remove MacPorts

to completely uninstall MacPorts

 sudo port -dfp uninstall --follow-dependencies installed

 sudo port -dfp uninstall all

 sudo rm -rf /opt/local  

 sudo rm -rf /Library/Tcl/macports*

Apple Remote Desktop

And/or use ARD instead, though not a package manager, it manages packages, installations, updates, and upgrades, it will do what you want, save you time, and will not let you down:

For Apple Remote Desktop 3, for 10.9:

Check out the admin guide first to convince yourself that this is the way to go:

curl -Ok http://images.apple.com/ca/fr/remotedesktop/pdf/ARD3_AdminGuide.pdf

    open ARD3_AdminGuide.pdf

Then install:

curl -Ok http://supportdownload.apple.com/download.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/Mac_OS_X/downloads/031-2845.20140313.rerft/RemoteDesktopAdmin372.dmg

hdiutil attach -quiet -noverify -nobrowse -noautoopen RemoteDesktopAdmin372.dmg

sudo installer -pkg /Volumes/Apple\ Remote\ Desktop\ 3.7.2\ Admin\ Update/RemoteDesktopAdmin372.pkg -target /

but that might throw a funny error if not running 10.9, or if no previous version of ARD is installed, and if it does, try:

pkgutil --expand /Volumes/Apple\ Remote\ Desktop\ 3.7.2\ Admin\ Update/RemoteDesktopAdmin372.pkg ARDexpanded/

or to equal effect (either/or here, don't need to use both pkgutil and xar... I'm just being thorough):

mkdir ARDexpanded

cd ARDexpanded

xar -xf /Volumes/Apple\ Remote\ Desktop\ 3.7.2\ Admin\ Update/RemoteDesktopAdmin372.pkg

And we no longer need the disk image attached, so eject it:

hdiutil detach -quiet /Volumes/Apple\ Remote\ Desktop\ 3.7.2\ Admin\ Update/

And now what you'll see if you

cd ARDexpanded/RemoteDesktopAdmin372.pkg/



    Bom         PackageInfo Payload     Scripts

What's in the Payload file, which is a cpio archive compressed with gzip, is what you're after. So with a few piped commands we can get to the app bundle:

cat Payload | gzip -d - | cpio -id



    Applications Bom          Library      PackageInfo  Payload      Scripts

And you're nearly done.

cp -R Applications/Remote\ Desktop.app /Applications/

Now you have installed Apple Remote Desktop Admin 3.7.2

So all that's left to do is purchase your license:

open http://store.apple.com/us_smb_78313/product/D6020Z/A/apple-remote-desktop-3-volume-licenses-20-seats-price-is-per-seat

Launch /Applications/Remote\ Desktop.app and serialize. And get some work done.

For 10.6 Snow Leopard, you'll need a slightly earlier version of ARD:

curl -Ok http://images.apple.com/ca/fr/remotedesktop/pdf/ARD3_AdminGuide.pdf

curl -Ok http://supportdownload.apple.com/download.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/Mac_OS_X/downloads/041-6789.20120917.xD6TR/RemoteDesktopAdmin353.dmg

hdiutil attach -quiet -noverify -nobrowse -noautoopen RemoteDesktopAdmin353.dmg

sudo installer -pkg /Volumes/Apple\ Remote\ Desktop\ 3.5.3\ Admin\ Update/RemoteDesktopAdmin353.pkg -target /

and if it throws back at you this:

    installer: Cannot install on volume / because it is disabled.
    installer: This update could not find Remote Desktop on this volume.

then try:

pkgutil --expand /Volumes/Apple\ Remote\ Desktop\ 3.5.3\ Admin\ Update/RemoteDesktopAdmin353.pkg ARD353

hdiutil detach -quiet /Volumes/Apple\ Remote\ Desktop\ 3.5.3\ Admin\ Update

drill down to the Payload:

    cd ARD353/RemoteDesktopAdmin353.pkg/



    Bom         PackageInfo Payload     Scripts

So run:

cat Payload | gzip -d - | cpio -id



Applications Bom          Library      PackageInfo  Payload      Scripts

And you're nearly done:

cp -R Applications/Remote\ Desktop.app /Applications/

purchase your license:

open http://store.apple.com/us_smb_78313/product/D6020Z/A/apple-remote-desktop-3-volume-licenses-20-seats-price-is-per-seat

Launch /Applications/Remote\ Desktop.app and serialize. And get something done.

  • All Greek and Latin to a layman like me but thanks for your efforts!
    – TheLearner
    May 5, 2014 at 23:11
  • 1
    While this is an excellent answer, it just circumnavigates the OP's question. May 5, 2014 at 23:50
  • 1
    @ Amit Schandillia: No effort at all, just a bit of cut and paste! @Hawken Rives: I was answering the question "Is there any workaround?" Thx.
    – chillin
    May 5, 2014 at 23:52
  • 1
    @chillin: well, that certainly qualifies as a workaround! I should investigate using it for my own comps... May 5, 2014 at 23:55
  • 1
    If it seems at all like I may have a hidden agenda, I assure it is nothing nefarious, but only to coax Apple into returning administrative control of the System to the home user or the IT staff of the enterprise user by showing what is still possible regardless of Apple's continuing lock downs. The image translators work for the construct program - but there's way too much information to decode the Matrix. In my experience, once automation and feature creep reach past a certain point, it begins to aggrivate and work against the possibility of rational computing.
    – chillin
    May 6, 2014 at 0:19

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