Just recently I'm being asked by the Mac App Store to log into a different account to update my apps. I've never had a second Apple ID and this computer has always belonged to me, meaning there's never been another account logged into this Mac. Screenshot of the message attached.

You have updates available for other accounts

To update this application, sign in to the account you used to purchase it.

I've tried signing out and logging back in, but to no avail. I had to remove Xcode and install it from scratch for it to work, but I don't want to do that with every app.

Any ideas? :(

  • I'm on Lion, 10.7.4, by the way.
    – Ian
    Aug 8, 2012 at 15:36
  • 1
  • Nope, everything indexes normally.
    – Ian
    Aug 8, 2012 at 15:45
  • Can you see which application/s it wants to update?
    – MrDaniel
    Aug 8, 2012 at 16:02
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    Yeah, was having the same issues myself when I tried to make a purchase the other day. After resetting my password five or six times, I eventually had an Apple representative tell me that it was a bug on their end. Good to know! Aug 10, 2012 at 16:41

6 Answers 6


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

To do this:

  1. Open Finder and navigate to Applications.
  2. Ctrl+Click the application and choose "Show Package Contents".
  3. Expand the Contents directory and click the _MASReceipt directory 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. 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.

This can also be a temporary issue and it can clear up over time once the servers recover from some overload conditions.

  • installing now! May 14, 2013 at 7:16
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    I've been trying to fix this problem for a while. My wife had an apple id that she logged into one time and never used again. MAS showed updates for iMovie and iPhoto for her account even though it had been removed from the computer. This solution worked perfectly. Thank you! May 24, 2013 at 1:39
  • This didn't work, it said error when updating... I had to uninstall and reinstall the program. (OS X)
    – JBaczuk
    Aug 7, 2015 at 14:07
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    Didn't work for me on OS X 10.11.3 El Capitan. After following the instructions, the App Store still showed the "Update" option instead of the "Get" option. I had to uninstall the app completely and reinstall it.
    – rob
    Jan 24, 2016 at 17:14
  • This worked for me for Apple apps without having to restart the App Store. I just clicked Update and it asked me for my App Store password. For third-party apps a restart is required.
    – CJ Dennis
    Sep 4, 2018 at 0:03

I had the same issue and neither repairing permissions nor resetting SpotLight did anything to fix it.

If no email address is present in the error, the message means that it thinks that you purchased the app while logged into a different local account on your computer and the App Store does not have write permissions to update it.

It seems that something got messed up on my machine, because I only use a single local account, so I checked the permissions on Xcode.app and had to add my current local account with Read & Write access.

Once I had done that, I could then update XCode through the App Store.

  • I had no email address in the error. Changed permissions on Xcode.app to everyone read/write, email appeared in error, worked fine.
    – Ben Wilson
    Feb 27, 2013 at 18:45

If you've loaded apps that were purchased with other Apple IDs, this is the screen that you get. (try it:))

So for example, if a friend gave you a copy of their app, and an update appears, you would need to log in with your friend's ID to update that app.

If they are legitimately yours, You can delete them from your computer, and then go to AppStore > purchases, and download them again..

Hope this helps.

  • I've never used another Apple ID in my life, and this Mac has always belonged to me, so that's impossible. I was trying to avoid having to install them all over :(
    – Ian
    Aug 8, 2012 at 16:47
  • As a developer, I dont know any other way it can happen. I would send a message to the AppStore support group: apple.com/support/mac/app-store
    – ICL1901
    Aug 8, 2012 at 16:53
  • btw, you don't need another Apple ID to load another app - outside of iTunes. You do need the ID to update it..
    – ICL1901
    Aug 8, 2012 at 16:55

This can also happen when spotlight indexing is broken, so it might help to try rebuilding the spotlight index (sudo mdutil -E /) before reinstalling a large app like Xcode.


Trivial "fix" in my case. In Applications folder, my Xcode install was named "Xcode.app" ... Renamed it to "Xcode 4.app" and suddenly AppleStore allowed me to update it.

  • And this didn't break anything else for you?
    – slhck
    May 19, 2013 at 19:04

In my case I was able to do the first part (delete the file within the application's package contents), but there is no option for me to login with my new account, and I must, since I actually purchased the app with the other login.

Now, when I go to the app center, and search for the app in question, as well as click it to update, it simply says I've already installed this application on this computer, and asks if I'm sure I want to purchase it again. It doesn't offer an "update" option.

I can't seem to find where to "login" to a new account through the app store.

  • Update: I did find out how to sign out and re-sign in as a new user, however it still doesn't see that I purchased it and should be able to update it for free. It is still giving me the same "this is already installed on your computer, are you sure you want to buy it?" Jul 5, 2013 at 12:24
  • UPDATE AGAIN: I went to my purchases, saw the application there, and "install" was an option - without having to "buy" it. I clicked that. Seemed to work. I'll let you know if somehow I have two of the same app on the system! LOL Jul 5, 2013 at 12:31
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    Lisa - Welcome to the site! Look for the edit button and just go ahead and tell your story in narrative form. The system calls out edits if someone needs to know who edited what and when.
    – bmike
    Jul 5, 2013 at 12:55

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