My mac has several users. If I want to "update" an app, it says only the original user can do the update. But I don't have access to his account!

How can I either:

  • Update apps from another user
  • Download my OWN apps instead

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    Can you please add a screenshot of the error message you get (see How do I upload a picture here for details)? – nohillside Jul 8 '13 at 6:34
  • done - 2 different ways to make it happen – nute Jul 8 '13 at 8:35
  • In the first message, is this an Apple ID or a local account you've blacked out? – nohillside Jul 8 '13 at 9:08
  • @patrix of an Apple ID which is used by another local account. – nute Jul 8 '13 at 9:55
  • This is horrible in the case of school owned/issued laptops for faculty. We install the machines and software during imaging process, but faculty (with admin accounts) cannot run software upgrades because it requires our tech account apple id. And there doesn't appear to be any way of changing this without wiping and reimaging the machine? – user76596 Apr 24 '14 at 14:37

Applications downloaded from the App Store are available to all local users, there is no way (and also no real reason) to buy and download the same application twice. For updates you must be logged into the Store with the Apple ID used for the initial purchase.

In the situation described in the question the asker can

  • log into the Store with the "other" Apple ID to get the download
  • ask whoever purchased the application to log into his/her account and get the update
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  • 2
    Both solutions mean involving the "other" user. Not really good design from Apple then... The Mac is shared with a co-worker who is not here. – nute Jul 8 '13 at 10:29
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    In shared environments it's probably the better approach to have an admin account to install software from, including an admin Apple ID. Or at least have a backup plan at hand in case mission critical software needs to be updated. – nohillside Jul 8 '13 at 10:36

Uninstalling the application completely, then going to the App Store and purchasing it again will give you the most up to date version of the application (and will be tied to your Apple ID so future updates will work).

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This will not resolve the immediate issue of updating apps if the person behind the account with the purchased apps is unavailable, but one possible solution going forwards is using Apple's Family Sharing feature to share purchased apps.

I can't confirm how this plays out for updating, (I don't use the feature), but using logic, it makes sense that shared apps would be updatable by users selected for sharing since users who are selected to receive shared content can download apps they did not originally purchase.

It's important to note that Family Sharing only works with up to 5 users. So this approach would not be appropriate for corporate and general work environments.

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