I just got a really large Mac App Store app, (2GB), but Im having some trouble with my diskspace...

Is there a way to completeley cancel the download of the app? I mean not just pause it but cancel it. The icon on the dock kind of stresses me out, and it reappears even if I drag it out.

  • You could just disable all internet connections temporarily. Maybe that would work - or maybe it just restarts, I never tried it.
    – XQYZ
    Commented Jun 3, 2011 at 2:32
  • I suggest letting the app download and then delete it.
    – Moshe
    Commented Jun 3, 2011 at 4:15
  • 3
    Also, consider a filing a feature request with Apple.
    – user5077
    Commented Jun 3, 2011 at 5:51
  • 3
    You have a bigger problem than this download. A general rule is that your system will not work optimally if the available empty space on the disk is less than 15% of the total size of the disk. So you need to look at cleaning out files on your disk, or replacing your existing internal hard drive with a larger one and migrating your data from one to the other.
    – user9290
    Commented Aug 19, 2011 at 20:24
  • Yeah, I did. But my problem wasn't really my actual drive... it has plenty of space, but my Time Machine drive, which was getting real crowded. Fixed it anyhow.
    – kevin9794
    Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 16:24

5 Answers 5

  1. Quit App Store app.

  2. Delete ~/Library/Application Support/AppStore folder.

  3. To avoid App Store still display you have downloaded x bytes of y bytes, four solutions :

    • Disregards.
    • Kill storeagent process (type killall storeagent into Terminal).
    • Logout / login.
    • Reboot.

With Lion it's shadowed under random folder /private/var/folders/<three level random folders>/com.apple.appstore/<again random folder name>/<apple server name package>.pkg. Well…

  1. Open Launchpad.
  2. Find your app.
  3. Keep alt key down.
  4. Click on cross to delete it.
  • Does this work in Lion as well? I can't find the AppStore folder under Application Support Commented Jul 22, 2011 at 15:31
  • Specifically I'm trying to cancel download of XCode 4.0.1 since it will just inform me its only supported for Snow Leopard. Commented Jul 22, 2011 at 16:08
  • mindless.panda, you can't find it because it's in a hidden directory under your user profile. It's in /Users/[your username]/Library/Application Support/Appstore/, and you need to know how to enable access to that hidden directory.
    – user9290
    Commented Aug 19, 2011 at 20:21
  • I removed all this. In fact I also removed pretty much every other xcode reference from my system but I still see this here: cl.ly/RYJ0. How to get rid of this?
    – amar
    Commented Sep 23, 2013 at 3:06

Specifically in Lion, here's how to do it:

  1. Go to Launchpad, click and hold on the downloading item
  2. All icons will start wiggling
  3. Click the (X) on the download


  • Hold down the Option key from the “Purchases” menu in the Mac App Store, this causes the “Pause” button to turn into “Cancel”. See this article for detail.

It will ask for a confirmation. I confirmed delete, and it was still there - a reboot made it disappear, but I suppose you could restart just Launchpad as well.

  • Not running Lion yet, but seems to be easiest solution. Cant wait to be able to try it!
    – kevin9794
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 0:53
  • This is the best solution! This should be the accepted answer!
    – Sheharyar
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 8:23
  • This worked perfectly for me. I would have assumed apple to make this far more intuitive.
    – Beyerz
    Commented Dec 20, 2017 at 9:16
  • This should be the accepted answer since most people are on OS's newer than lion even Commented Feb 1, 2019 at 20:25

In the Mac App Store "Purchases" tab, hold down the Option key, this causes the “Pause” button to turn into “Cancel”.

I tested it on 10.8 Mountain Lion, but don't know if it works on previous OSX version.

Added comment - This works on Sierra as well.


Another way to do this by enabling the AppStore Debug menu.

  1. Sign out of AppStore.

  2. Quit AppStore.

  3. Open a terminal and execute the following command:

    defaults write com.apple.appstore ShowDebugMenu -bool true

  4. Open AppStore again and a Debug menu is now present.

  5. Debug Menu -> Reset Application.

This will reset the current state of the AppStore, including current downloads. You will have to sign back in to see available downloads.

In my case I was able to stop the not yet finished download of XCode 4.0.1 in favor of just starting up the Xcode 4.1 download (since Lion only runs 4.1).

I wish I could have done Debug Menu -> Show Download Folder and just deleted the directory in com.apple.AppStore that was obviously 4.0.1 (based on size), but this didn't register in the AppStore. I wonder if the sqllite file in that same directory is where this status is stored.

If you are not comfortable leaving the debug menu enabled just run the above terminal command again, this time setting it to false.

  • Please see my post edit for Lion in answer to your comment. It's really an easier way I think
    – Bil
    Commented Jul 23, 2011 at 8:07
  • When I try this with OS Monterey, every time I open the app store again the ShowDebugMenu=1; entry for com.apple.appstore disappears.
    – owengall
    Commented May 29, 2022 at 14:04

Can't believe I just found this solution. I dont know if it was there before, Im sure it wasnt or I wouldn't have asked it here.

Control-click the icon in the dock and select Cancel download.


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