I can see via Activity Monitor that storedownloadd is receiving a lot of packets and responsible for my ~1mb download. When opening the App Store, I can see only one update (Xcode 8). Can I deduce that this is what's being downloaded?

If not, how can I?

  • 1
    If it only runs for a few seconds, it is most likely just getting new information about what updates are available. Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 12:35
  • @IronCraftMan I doubt that this check would download several MB of data. Plus in this case it ran for an extended period of time.
    – oarfish
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 15:31
  • Possibly related: apple.stackexchange.com/q/226121/88313 That question deals with CPU activity but the answers also discuss other activities that storedownloadd does. Also, you could look into getting Little Snitch to better monitor/control the network activities.
    – fsb
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 18:22

1 Answer 1


The App Store may not record exactly what everything it does is, but you can try looking a couple places:

/Library/Receipts/InstallHistory.plist has a list of program installation history for the computer (most recent installation at the bottom, with the highest numbered entry).

/Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate.plist will give you the number of pending updates as well as the last time the App Store checked for updates.

You could also try running /usr/sbin/softwareupdate --dump-state, which dumps the current state of the update daemon to /var/log/install.log.

(As a side note, in my experience XCode updates are usually over 1 GB in size, so an XCode update would definitely run for an extended period and download lots of data.)

  • I found your tip to look at install.log helpful. Not easy to read, but it seems to give some indication of what's being downloaded. According to this log, OSX has downloaded the new OS update already without me triggering it, which is ridiculous in my opinion, but likely so that when the user decides to install it, they don't have to wait.
    – oarfish
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 16:11
  • My computers did that as well, that is annoying.
    – Testing
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 23:01

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