This only happens with OSX updates, all general apps work fine.

I click install to update to the latest version, I get a couple prompts confirming I want to download and allow my computer to restart. Then nothing actually downloads, it gets listed as recently installed but also shows in my updates available section too.

After checking the logs, I found this is more than likely a permissions error.

Does anyone know what user groups + folder permissions the updates require for OSX? I've run the health check etc on my drive and all seems to be fine.

Because the log is quite long, I've made a pastebin. http://pastebin.com/4DeRUBzh


I'm running El Capitan, but this issue has persisted since upgrading Yosemite.

I've tried resetting Home folder permissions & ACLs, this did not correct the issue.

  • What OS version is running on the Mac? You can run sw_vers in the terminal.app to collect detailed information.
    – bmike
    Sep 23, 2015 at 17:37
  • @bmike I'm running El Capitan, but this issue has persisted since I upgraded to Yosemite. I've been manually updating using the combo updates you can get from the apple site but it is slightly tiresome. Here is the sw_vers output sw_vers ProductName: Mac OS X, ProductVersion: 10.11, BuildVersion: 15A282a Sep 23, 2015 at 18:00
  • I had this issue too. My problem was incorrect permissions somewhere in /private/folders, so a Verify Permissions as well as reinstalling the latest combo update should fix it. I see you are using El Cap, so I don't know how you'd fix this. Sep 23, 2015 at 21:35
  • @IronCraftMan I've taken a screen cap of my /private/ folder, can you compare mine to yours and let me know if anything looks incorrect please? infinit.io/_/jjvFQBU Sep 24, 2015 at 10:34

2 Answers 2


This worked for me in Mavericks. My App Store app wasn't responding and someone suggested resetting the NVRAM. It's done the same way as you used to reset the PRAM - during Restart, hold down p+r+option+command until you hear the startup chimes a second time, then release the keys. Can't hurt, anyway.


I'd go for the 'standard repair toolkit' first...

  • In Disk Utility, "Verify Disk Permissions" and if necessary "Fix Disk Permissions". Also "Verify Disk" and if necessary "Repair Disk".

  • Reset Home folder permissions & ACLs using OnyX - Maintenance tab/permissions, tick the box at the top then Execute.

  • Update to 10.10.5 using the 10.10.5 combo update, not the delta from App Store

Standard perms for /var/folders is System rwx, Wheel rx, Everyone rx

picture of perms, Terminal & BatchMod...

enter image description here

  • I'm running El capitan, does this change your suggestion in any way? Sep 23, 2015 at 20:30
  • Ah I just checked the OnyX site and they currently don't provide El Capitan support as of yet. Any further suggestions please? Sep 23, 2015 at 20:32
  • I've just reset the Home folder permissions & ACLs and this did not correct the problem. (just to update you) Sep 24, 2015 at 0:13
  • Did you check perms on var/folders? I didn't realise you were on el capitan, btw - assumed 'couldn't update' meant 'hadn't updated'
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 24, 2015 at 5:56
  • 1
    I ended up just putting all my data on an external drive, formatting and re-installing OS X. Works fine now but obviously not really a solution to the problem. Thank you for your help regardless! Sep 26, 2015 at 11:03

You must log in to answer this question.

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