I'm trying to update Growl, however App store says "To update this application, log in with account which was used to buy this application". The thing is that i don't have any other Apple ID. Is it possible to find out what account was used to bought this app?

  • Have you signed out the app store, quit and relaunched. Then if you update without logging in, perhaps it will Pre-fill the correct email? ( or in bunch it's britches )
    – bmike
    Commented Jun 13, 2012 at 21:04
  • Nope, it does not work (shows the same message). For other apps it indeed fills up login field.
    – kars7e
    Commented Jun 13, 2012 at 21:33
  • 2
    Wow - I can think of a couple of oddball reasons - can you find that app in your purchase history? If so you can delete the app ( or move it to an external drive / Time Machine ) and then re-download it.
    – bmike
    Commented Jun 13, 2012 at 22:08
  • 1
    Actually, what's happening now is really strange. I removed purchase tab in App store. Then I tried to remove App (using app dashboard). I clicked on right-top-corner X, it asks me "do you really want to remove this app", i click "Delete", app disappear... and after 2 seconds it's back in the same place o_O. So I used AppZapper to remove application brutally. It helped, I open App Store - great, i see the price next to the app, i have to buy it again... i'm clicking on it - it said it's for free, because i own previous version. And still the same Apple ID! Thanks for this advice @bmike
    – kars7e
    Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 9:34
  • however main question still remains unanswered :)
    – kars7e
    Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 9:35

3 Answers 3


All app downloaded from Mac AppStore(MAS) contain a receipt inside their app bundle (example: appname.app/Contents/_MASReceipt/receipt). MAS will scan this file to check whether the new version is available.

You can use this application (Find Any File) to search any receipt on your drive: http://apps.tempel.org/FindAnyFile/

  1. Launch 'Find Any File' and search for: _MASReceipt
  2. Go through each result that you think could be the culprit, copy the receipt to your desktop as a backup, and after that delete the receipt inside _MASReceipt folder.
  3. Open MAS and let it scan for software update. If it's still showing the wrong ID, it means that you've deleted the wrong receipt. Restore the receipt backup from your desktop to it's previous location.
  4. Repeat the process until you've found the problem receipt.

To make the AppStore forget the old credentials with which an app was downloaded, you must remove the _MASReceipt directory in the app itself.

To do this:

  1. Open Finder and navigate to Applications,
  2. Ctrl+Click the application you want to redownload and choose "Show Package Contents",
  3. Expand the Contents directory and click _MASReceipt to select it,
  4. Type Command+Delete to delete the directory permanently---you will be prompted for your credentials since this is a protected file.

Quit and restart AppStore, then find the application you want to update. The button should now say "Free" or "Install" instead of "Update". Clicking it will update your app to the latest version, doing so as the currently logged-in Apple user.


It's probable the developer of that app (growl) has used the same bundle ID so that the app store version and the downloaded version appear the same to the app store.

Basically, you may not have even "bought" the app, but downloaded it.

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