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?!


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 
  • 7
    Strangely this did not work for me the first time. I repeated the process a 2nd time, and it worked. – Don't Panic Nov 12 '20 at 8:28
  • 1
    This didn't work for me but killall -9 appstoreagent immediately afterward did help. – Niels Nov 24 '20 at 10:24
  • 1
    Inexplicably, this also worked the second time for me. I used the terminal command the second time instead of the finder, but it cleared right up after that. – xavdid Dec 9 '20 at 1:05
  • 1
    I did not delete anything, but I did run killall -15 appstoreagent and it worked for me. Kill -15 is safer than kill -9 – spuder Dec 12 '20 at 21:28
  • 2
    For me, it also worked only after I did the whole procedure twice! But kill -9 was sufficient. – user1934428 Dec 27 '20 at 9:29

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.

  • 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 Dec 16 '20 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 Jan 4 at 22:13

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 as the DNS server.

That doesn't explain why other perfectly good name servers (like and 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.

  • Previously with this issue, the rm then killall trick worked (although I had to do it twice). Today it didn't. Adding 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 Jan 12 at 8:17

"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.


It was a temporary issue at Apple's end. They haven't given an official answer to why Mojave users couldn't download from the App Store.

But at least they've fixed it now!


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"


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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