I bought a used MacBook Pro, and I need to update some software. When I click the 'update all' button to proceed, it asks for the App Store password of the old user's account:

App Store screenshot

How do I remove the old user's account so that I can update my software?


8 Answers 8


You will need to go to Store->Sign Out, then sign in with your own account.

After that, delete the software that is asking for the old account password, and reinstall it under your account. If the software is not free, you will need to buy the software again. You do not have a license to use the software, unfortunately.

In your case, there’s only keynote needing an update so you know keynote had that account tied to it.

  • 3
    How do we identify which software were installed by old account.? Apr 13, 2016 at 17:01
  • This is happening for me with all the software that came preinstalled on my mac. Is there a way to switch the account for that stuff too? Most pre-installed applications will not let me uninstall them... i.e. Keynote, Numbers, Pages, iMovie…
    – Tim
    Apr 29, 2017 at 23:01
  • this is the answer. Jun 4, 2019 at 21:17

To switch Appstore user you can go to 'Featured' tab -- there link named as "Welcome " is clickable and open the window with the button "Log out".

  • @Fralec My answer is different. I don't know what is the "Store" he's is saying about.
    – Nakilon
    Oct 4, 2016 at 15:52
  • Store menu is being talked about
    – anki
    Jun 17, 2019 at 18:20

Since you do not know the previous user Apple ID, unfortunately you will have to start from scratch.

You will have to rebuild your computer OS and all Apple applications under your user ID in order to keep it up to date with software updates in the future.

Here are the detailed instructions how to do that.

Changing ownership of a used Mac

I highly recommend the total wipe procedure to remove any possible software remains and modifications from previous user that you do not want.

The Operating Software and many app from Apple are FREE anyway.


Go to System Preferneces Check the box next to Allow user to reset password using Apple ID.

This will let you change the locked Apple ID


Go to System Preferences > App Store and change the first drop-down menu in the last section of the window (Purchases and In-App Purchases). This should be enough to force the system re-asking your credentials. If you already set up your account somewhere else, aka iCloud than the username will be automatically filled for you.

  • Keep in mind, this doesn’t address the case when an update is queued for any apps purchased from other accounts.
    – bmike
    Sep 24, 2017 at 14:24

On Mojave(10.14.4). This is how I tried and changed it.

  1. Open App Store app and click on "Discover" option on the left hand side bar.
  2. Scroll down and click on "Add Funds to Apple ID"
  3. Which then prompts you to add you Apple ID and Password, fill them
  4. After successful login, it prompts you with account details

By then, the user name and previous Apple Id would get removed and refreshes App Store app and shows the currently signed in user at the bottom on left-hand side bar.


The reason why app prompt the old user account is because the app was installed by the old user, and the purchase/install history (App Store called it purchase even the app is free) was made by the old user.

To solve this, you need to delete the app first (move to bin) than reinstall it again. Reinstall the app will update the app as well.


Yes this process of removing the installed app by moving it to trash and downloading again from store needs to be done for each app individually.

Is there any way to do it for all the installed apps that need updates?

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