My Mac is running out of space and its shutting down VMs on occasion. I purchased a program called Space Gremlin from the App Store a few years ago. When I attempt to run Space Gremlin, I get the following message:

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When I purchased the app, there were no restrictions on it, so this behavior is new to me.

I wrote to the authors of Space Gremlin, and they told me it was an Apple message. I no longer have an App Store account, so there's nothing for me to do with Apple.

How do I run the Space Gremlin program?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – bmike Mar 29 '16 at 13:44

Your licence to use and run Space Gremlin are effectively bound to the purchasing Apple ID.

From this discussion, it appears you have chosen to abandon the Apple ID associated with this purchase:

Since they abandoned help with the account, I responded in kind and abandoned it too.

By abandoning the Apple ID account, you have also abandoned any purchases and licences associated with the account. In this case, that includes being able to run Space Gremlin.

Be aware that you never owned or had an absolute right to be able to run the application; I do appreciate this is unlikely what you want to hear. The first paragraph of Apple's USA default Licensed Application End User Licence Agreement reads:

The Mac App Store Products and App Store Products (collectively, “App Store Product(s)”) made available through the Mac App Store Service and App Store Service (collectively, “App Store Service(s)”) are licensed, not sold, to you.

From a developer's perspective, the Digital Rights Management (DRM) problems you have suffered are a compelling reason to offer non-Mac App Store editions of their software.

Older Version?

As a workaround, you may be able to find an older version of Space Gremlin that did not implement Mac App Store receipt checking – assuming a version once existed.


Have you considered using an alternative tool, such as the open source GrandPerspective?


Other tools and utilities are mentioned in the answers to these questions:

  • "By abandoning the Apple ID account, you have also abandoned any purchases and licences associated with the account. In this case, that includes being able to run Space Gremlin...." - citation, please. I still own it and the licenses. The account no longer exists because Apple does not support them. Anyway, this does not answer the question. The question is about running the app I own and am licensed despite Apple's broken DRM. – user83961 Mar 29 '16 at 10:19
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    The certificate used to sign the app bundle expired. You need to download a freshly signed copy. You can't do that without signing in so Apple can verify your right to run the software. – samh Mar 29 '16 at 10:36
  • Thanks @samh. I can't sign in because Apple has me locked out and provides no effect support paths. How do I remove the DRM from the binary? I'm happy to decouple it/disgorge it to avoid Apple's broken DRM since I own it and I am licensed. I'm even happy to sign it with my own CA, if that's what it takes. I have an internal CA I use for other things. – user83961 Mar 29 '16 at 11:10
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    @jww You could also ask the developer to send you a redemption code and set up a new Apple ID. I'd recommend you take another tilt at restoring your AppleID since Apple has beefed up their online support staff substantially over time. In the end - it's about how much you value your time and whether you're feeling moral pressure to stick to extracting more concessions from Apple or the developer over what likely was a $5 purchase when you made it. – bmike Mar 29 '16 at 14:08

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