I'm using Mac OS X 10.7.5, and I'd like to know this. I started the download for OS X Yosemite yesterday on User A, accidentally - I was going to start it on User B (me). Now, I didn't notice this until I switched to User B and let the computer sleep so that it could download the update while still staying alive (I plugged it in, too).

Now, when I woke up this morning, and switched back to User A, I got a couple of funny things happening.

First of all, it said Could not download OS X Mountain Lion due to an unknown error; the application can be found in Purchases in the App Store in a dialog window. Not cool, but I wasn't even downloading OS X Mountain Lion!

Next, when I clicked F4 on my Macbook Pro to see my Launchpad, OS X MAVERICKS was in there and paused.

Finally, Yosemite seemed to be still downloading; there was a Yosemite button icon thing, and it said downloading.

This brings me to my question: Yosemite didn't seem to have downloaded at all. It was still at the first progress bar image (or so it seemed). So, is it supposed to not download when I'm not in the same user as the one which started the download?

I'd really like to know this, because my internet downloads at 300 KBpS on average, and it's really slow, so I'd like to not be wasting time on getting the download to work when it's not going to work at all.

  • It won't download anything while it's asleep, whichever user is frontmost.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 29, 2014 at 11:17
  • Really? :O I'm not sure it was actually asleep, though. I just turned on the screen saver. :P Oct 29, 2014 at 11:19
  • As your line is so slow, I'd be inclined to make certain it doesn't sleep [System Prefs > Energy Saver set to Never] then set the user you want to download it frontmost, start the download & go to bed.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 29, 2014 at 11:25

1 Answer 1


The App Store saves its files to a temporary folder until it is completely downloaded. This temporary download location is different for each user of the Mac. So, it's possible (likely) that you could have two partially downloaded copies of the same application. For Yosemite, and its multi-gb package size, this is not trivial.

You can see if the file is currently downloading in a number of ways. 2 & 3 require some familiarity with Terminal.app.

  1. Check the incoming data bandwidth with Activity Monitor
  2. Search for any open files held by the AppStore agent via sudo lsof | grep storeage
  3. Check to see if the file size of anything in /var/folders/XX/XXXXXXXX/C/com.apple.appstore/* is changing. You can find the exact path (up to the C) via getconf DARWIN_USER_CACHE_DIR for the currently logged-in user.
  4. If the app is downloading, mouse-over the Launchpad icon in the dock should show a %done status. (I've seen this behave erratically; so, although it's the simplest, I'm listing it last)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .