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Whenever I try to Get then Install any app from the App Store, I get this message:

We could not complete your purchase. cancelled

I did some searching online, but barely found any useful hits. What is this about?!

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7 Answers 7

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From https://ericasadun.com/2020/05/22/broken-app-store-downloads-on-mojave-we-could-not-complete-your-purchase/:

  • Quit App Store
  • In Terminal: open "$TMPDIR/../C/com.apple.appstore/"
  • In Finder: trash everything in that folder including any pending updates / stuck items.
  • In Terminal: killall -9 appstoreagent
  • Relaunch App Store
  • Done

If you feel confident with Terminal you can also quit the App Store and then run

rm -r "$TMPDIR/../C/com.apple.appstore/"*
killall -9 appstoreagent 
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10

I fixed the problem by opening iTunes and signing in there. As soon as I signed into iTunes with the same account as the App Store, the problem went away.

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  • I tried the TMPDIR/killall trick and it did not work for me. However, this one did. However, when I logged into iTunes, the appstore app was open, and the error still occurred. So, after logging into iTunes, I quit the appstore app, removed the TMPDIR, did the killall -9 appstoreagent command, and restarted the appstore app. Then, it worked.
    – Guerry
    Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 17:04
  • Tried all the other things and this was the only thing that worked. In iTunes, I clicked on the Store and it prompted me to login. Then App Store worked after that.
    – Stu
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 22:13
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The trash 'pending updates / stuck items' answer didn't work for me. Nor is it convenient for everyone to just upgrade to Catalina.

What did work for me, was to connect to the Internet via a different network. I temporarily switched from our broadband (via our WiFi router) to 4G (via my iPhone's personal hotspot), and voila, app updates started working again.

Wondering if this could be a DNS related issue, I tried switching back to broadband and tweaking the Mac's DNS settings (System Preferences > Network > Advanced > DNS). After a few failures, I found success using 208.67.222.222 as the DNS server.

That doesn't explain why other perfectly good name servers (like 8.8.8.8 and 208.67.220.220) failed but life is too short for me to worry about it. If you're pulling your hair out over this issue, these things are certainly worth a try.

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  • Previously with this issue, the rm then killall trick worked (although I had to do it twice). Today it didn't. Adding 8.8.8.8 as a DNS Server and moving it to the top of the list did fix it. So maybe it's just an issue with certain DNS servers sometimes?
    – Sam R
    Commented Jan 12, 2021 at 8:17
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The official Method:


The hacky tricks may work for you, but are not necessary. Use the official method with these simple steps:

  1. Open App Store. Sign in if you are not already signed in.

  2. From Top Menu → Store: Click View My Account.
    or use Keyboard Shortcut: Command + 0.

  3. Click View Information (at the Top Right of the window).

Appstore View Information

  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Reset button.
    Then click Done.

Appstore Reset warnings

As the text suggests, this will reset all the buying, downloading (for new install or update) warnings. So now you should be able to install new apps and update installed apps.

Troubleshooting


Case-1: You've tried the above method, but it doesn't work for any App at all.

Possible Solution:

  1. Sign out of App Store
  2. Restart your Mac.
  3. Then try the above Official Method again.

Case-2: You've tried the above method, but it works for some app, but it doesn't work for some other apps if you try to update.

Possible Solution:

  1. Follow the Possible Solution from Case-1 above (Repeat all 3 steps).
  2. Open the App Store App, Log in & from Left Sidebar go to Updates.
  3. Click the Title of the App that was showing the warning while updating.
  4. Then use the UPDATE button from that App's details page (in the top right corner of that page) to update the app.
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  • Ah reading this was OK until the last sentance . The problem is the UPDATE button does not work - so oif that is your last option you have only just got to the stage that the question starts at.
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 23:27
  • @mmmmmm is it still giving the same warning after repeating the process? For me some of the updates were giving the same warning, then I did the same process again and the warning was gone. I could've used the hacky tricks, but I wanted to do it without them.
    – Fayaz
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 7:38
  • 1
    I tried all the higher-voted answers, but this was the one to work for me - thanks! Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 16:57
  • What makes this approach „official“? If this is based on support information from Apple can you please add a link/reference?
    – nohillside
    Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 4:55
  • @nohillside: What makes this approach official is that it's within the App Store app and it reads exactly Reset all warning for buying and downloading. Regardless of whether or not this solves the problem, it is supposed to fix these sort of warnings. By official, I meant it's officially within that very app for this very purpose.
    – Fayaz
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 13:21
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I don't know if I've solved this permanently, but I temporarily changed my dns search domain from the "attlocal.net" to "localhost", and it resolved the problem.

macos advanced network preferences, dns tab, shows default search domain is "attlocal.net"

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"Non-answer" answer. Try again.

As of 4:13PM, I am now able to download software. Probably some issue with Apple and their App Store backend. For future reference, go to their system status page to see if any of their services go down again.

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I finally "upgraded" to Catalina. This resolved my problem.

Incidentally, this also solved my other problem: AppleScript error: “Finder got an error: Network file permission error.”

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