If you don’t have enough free space on your HD, and you are trying to buy an App in the AppStore, you get a message, that you don’t have enough free space and you can’t buy it.

Since I always struggle with HD space and often don’t want to download the app immediately, I was wondering if there is a way to buy the app, even without enough free memory.

(I know, I know, I should free up more memory … but this is hard on a 256gb SSD :/ )


  • 1
    Possible duplicate of iTunes Purchase Without Download
    – Thecafremo
    Apr 13, 2016 at 13:10
  • I think you ought to concentrate on the more pressing issue of a full SSD. SSDs become horribly inefficient with less than 15% free space.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 13, 2016 at 13:23
  • If your SSD is filling up with media (iTunes tracks, movies, photos) consider putting these files on an external HD. If you're using a laptop with an SD card slot, a Transcend JetDrive can give tremendous storage without any external devices at all!
    – IconDaemon
    Apr 13, 2016 at 14:41
  • Yeah, I know about the SSD problems. I have to organize about 40gb of files from my ba thesis. After that i’ll transfer them to an external hd. In the meantime I just wanted to purchase an app from the AppStore that is on sale, whithout having to transfer all the 40gb to the external HD temporarily, just to purchase the app. But since that doesn’t seem to be possible, I just did that. Thanks for trying to help though. :)
    – Afterlame
    Apr 13, 2016 at 14:46
  • @Tetsujin Is this actually true? I've always seen people mention it but never a reason or source. Jun 13, 2017 at 19:25

2 Answers 2


You can't easily interrupt the download or the check for enough space with a toggle or a setting. Much easier would be to use a second drive to add capacity. If you don't like moving files off the SSD, just install OS X onto the external drive and keep space there for overflow files and new app downloads. A 32 GB SD card or fast thumb drive would let you install a minimal OS and have 20+ GB free for app installs and other storage needs you can't accommodate on your main storage.

The downside to installing a second OS is you have to shut down the primary and select the secondary and now you have two OS to patch. This only works if you really can't free up space on the main SSD.

If Apple implements app gifting like it does on the iOS and iTunes stores, then you could gift a paid purchase to yourself without needing the download to commence when the sale is made.

Similarly, setting up a volume purchase account would also let you "purchase" apps from the web interface and not from the App Store interface. It's unlikely any of this is easier than freeing up space on the OS you run or bringing a new OS with enough space to your Mac.


I know this was marked as answered quite some time ago but I found a very simple method was to:

  1. Connect an external hard drive with plenty of free space

  2. Purchase and begin download but then just disconnect your internet connection. The download fails but the purchase is already made and you can download later when ready.

It's not an optimal method for obvious reasons but got the job done.

  • Just unplugging the USB drive while it is mounted can cause data loss or data corruption.
    – IconDaemon
    Jun 13, 2017 at 19:27
  • @IconDaemon - Yes indeed and OS X likely won't let you safely unmount while it is installing an app either, but if you don't care (i.e. empty usb drive) and the only purpose is to complete the purchase without completing the download, this worked for me when I was out in the boonies and didn't want to miss a sale just because I had poor bandwidth accessibility. Jun 13, 2017 at 23:52
  • Fair enough, @Philip Ingram.
    – IconDaemon
    Jun 13, 2017 at 23:57
  • @IconDaemon - On second thought I updated my suggestion because while that worked for me in a pinch, I suppose I could have just unplugged my hotel connection after the purchase =) Jun 13, 2017 at 23:58

You must log in to answer this question.

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