I've deleted apps that were purchased through the Mac AppStore. I used "CleanApp" to delete the parts left in app support folders.

But I still see notifications of updates in the AppStore app.

I know I can hide the app name in the Purchases tab, but is there any way to remove these notifications permanently?

It is not just a cosmetic thing. If I have multiple updates and I select "Update All Apps", the deleted apps will be reinstalled.

Please note I am asking about the Mac App Store, not the iOS Store.

  • 1
    Eject all your disks to ensure spotlight isn't seeing the application on another partition or volume. The App Store uses spotlight, so you could also search here about rebuilding that database in case it's not the apps themselves and instead the index.
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 17:43
  • ah thanks.. I do have a backup drive and TM drive. I will reindex spotlight. If it works, can I mark this as the correct answer?
    – ICL1901
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 19:05
  • It would be best for you to add whatever answer works for you. You're doing the testing and I just had an idea for you to try (or two). Comments can be voted, but not selected as an answer or migrated to become one.
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 19:09
  • ok. i will likely test this overnight, as I dont want to unmount my drives during the day.. I really appreciate the idea!
    – ICL1901
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 19:29
  • Thanks bmike. Finally got around to reindexing without the other drives. Your solution was spot on.
    – ICL1901
    Commented Sep 29, 2012 at 14:01

6 Answers 6


Usually this is a problem with spotlight.

The simplest step is to shut down the mac, disconnect all external drives, and start up to make sure no extra volumes are mounted. The next step would be to rebuild the spotlight index.

Lastly, search in other user accounts to be sure another user didn't somehow install or copy that App into their home folder.


I had the same problem and suggest you try a more relaxed solution.

Instead of spending considerable time on rebooting and rebuilding indexes, use spotlight to search for the application. Select "Show all in finder", throw all instances in the garbage can and empty it.

  • Great idea. Welcome to Ask Different.
    – ICL1901
    Commented Nov 4, 2013 at 8:57

On MacOS 10.13 in 2018, I had to use a combination of techniques:

  • Quit the App Store, then search for the offending app on all volumes (including network and removable volumes you don't always have connected, but use frequently enough that they might be Spotlight indexed), and remove all copies of the offending app. App Store is likely to want to upgrade them if Spotlight has informed it that they exist.
    • If you use any "plain files" backup solutions, like a disk-mirroring app, you'll need to use this approach to find the extra copy/copies. This might require manually mounting a volume that's normally unmounted except during backup operations. Consider excluding this volume from Spotlight indexing in the future.
    • If you need to keep an old copy of the app for some reason (e.g., for use on other machines with older OSes not compatible with the current app version), then archive it with ZIP, 7Zip, or whatever. If you're mounting any of those machines' hard drives across the network, you'll also need to exclude them (or at least their Applications folders) from your local Spotlight indexing.
    • See also this related question for some find or locate techniques for looking for orphaned .pkg and .plist junk relating to the app. This part is more likely to be needed the longer you've been upgrading on top of the same installation (e.g. my MacOS 10.13 began its life as MacOS 10.7, years ago, and consequently has way more cruft than an all-new 10.13 disk would).
  • Restart App Store and see if that resolved it. (It may still say the update is available until you do this and go into the Updates tab).
    If not, any of the following should work, and can be done in sequence until victory is yours (quit the App Store before each attempt):
    • Use the mdutil and launchctl commands provided in Dipak G.'s answer, then restart App Store.
    • Restart your Mac, then check App Store again.
    • Rebuild the Spotlight index the canonical way, and check App Store again, after another reboot if necessary.

In my personal case, I had to do all of this, sequentially, except the last two bullets. I did not get around to the Dren/Jawa technique of looking for _MASReceipt stuff inside the app, since my goal was to nuke the app entirely. That idea might be good for severing the connection between the app and the App Store, e.g. if you have replaced the App Store version with one direct from the developer.


Thanks for your tips An eventual solution: I searched for other instances of some apps, found a copy on another disk, but since I didn't want to totally delete it, I instead zipped it and then deleted the app. Quite obvious, maybe, but... The annoying update alerts are gone.


Loading the metadata plist works when Mac App Store shows updates for uninstalled apps:

Turn off spotlight:

sudo mdutil -a -i off

Unload it:

sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist

Load It:

sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist

Turn on spotlight again:

sudo mdutil -a -i on

Now everything is reindexed and there shouldn't be any updates for uninstalled apps.


All you have to do to solve it is the following:

  1. Right-klick on Your App and click Show Package Contents

  2. Navigate to Contents/_MASReceipt/

  3. Open the file receipt in text edit

  4. Search (Cmd+F) for "angry"

  5. Delete the whole paragraph, containing com.NAMEofYOURproblemAPP

  6. Save. Since you don´t have permission to edit system files, you will have to save the new receipt file somewhere else, then replace the old one with the edited after entering your password.

  7. Done

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