App Store Tips

App Store overview

Shopping for apps is easy and fun in the App Store. You can choose from thousands of apps developed just for your Mac—browse, read about apps, buy the ones you want, write reviews, and even keep macOS and your apps up to date. All you need is an Apple ID. If you don’t have an Apple ID, it’s easy to create one.

Explore

Browse for apps in the Featured, Top Charts, or Categories area of the App Store. Or use the search field in the top-right corner to find specific apps. To learn about an app before downloading or buying it, click it to see a description, customer reviews, and ratings. Learn More.

The App Store window showing toolbar buttons for browsing apps

Get apps

When you find the perfect app, sign in with your Apple ID. If you don’t have an account, choose Store > Create Account to create one for yourself—including your Apple ID, nickname for posting reviews, address, and so on. This information lets you purchase apps, install and update your apps on all your computers, and reinstall apps you’ve deleted. Learn more.

The App Store sign-in dialog

Tell your friends

Let others know what you think about an app—you can rate it, write a review, and share your review using email, Twitter, Facebook, and so on. Learn more.

The App Store window for entering an app rating and a review

Always have the latest

When macOS or app updates are available, you receive a notification. A badge showing the number of available updates appears in the App Store toolbar and on the App Store icon in the Dock. To see what’s new, open App Store, then click the Updates button in the toolbar. Learn more.

App Store toolbar showing the Updates button

Sign in to the App Store

Before you can purchase or update an app from the App Store, you must sign in using an Apple ID, or create an Apple ID if you don’t have one.

An Apple ID gives you access to the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, Apple Online Store, iCloud, FaceTime, and other Apple services. It consists of an email address (for example, emilyparker@icloud.com) and a password. For more information about Apple ID, or to create a new one, go to the Apple ID account website.

Note: All of your purchases are tied to your Apple ID account, and can’t be transferred to another Apple ID account. If you bought apps on your iPad, iPhone, or other Mac, sign in using the same Apple ID to see all of your apps on this Mac. If an update to an app you purchased in the App Store is available, sign in using your Apple ID to download the update.

Sign in with your Apple ID: Choose Store > Sign In, then enter your Apple ID information.

Create an Apple ID: Choose Store > Create Account. You can also choose Store > Sign In, then click Create Apple ID.

View account settings: Sign in, then choose Store > View My Account. Account settings include your Apple ID, billing information, and the nickname you use when you review apps. You can also view purchases that you’vehidden.

Sign out: Choose Store > Sign Out.

Find, buy, and download apps

To find the perfect app, search for it or browse the App Store. Once you find the app you want, you can purchase it using your Apple ID, or you can redeem a download code or a gift card.

Search for an app: Enter one or more words in the search field at the top-right corner of the App Store window, then press Enter.

Ask Siri. Say something like: “Find apps by Apple.”  Learn more about Siri.

Browse the App Store: Browse any of the following areas:

  • Featured: Click Featured to view recommended and featured apps.
  • Top Charts: Click Top Charts to view the bestselling or most downloaded apps in a variety of categories.
  • Categories: Do either of the following:
    • Click Categories, then click a category.
    • Click Featured or Top Charts, then choose a category from the pop-up menu or the list in the Quick Links area on the right.

Learn about an app: In the App Store, click an app’s name or icon to view its description page, where you can read a description of the app, and customer reviews.

Get an app: Click the button that shows the price of the app, then click the button again to install or buy the app (or use Touch ID).

App information bubble showing the app price

During installation, you can pause or cancel.

Redeem download codes or gift cards: Click Redeem in the Quick Links area on the right (if you don’t see it, click Featured, Top Charts, or Categories in the toolbar). Enter the download code or the code from your gift card.

If you have a gift card with a box around the code, you can use the built-in camera on your Mac to redeem the card. After you click Redeem, click Use Camera, then hold the gift card 4 to 7 inches (10 to 18 centimeters) from the camera. Make sure the code area is near the center of the preview area, then hold the card steady until it’s redeemed.

Purchase in-app content and subscriptions: Some apps sell extra content, including app upgrades, game content, and subscriptions. To make an in-app purchase, enter your Apple ID (or use Touch ID). For more information about subscriptions, see Manage app subscriptions.

View and manage purchased apps

You can view the apps you purchased using your Apple ID in the Purchased list on any of your Mac computers. If you don’t want certain apps to appear in that list, you can hide them. You can also uninstall apps that you no longer need.

View purchased apps

  • Sign in to your account in the App Store, then click Purchased.

Hide and show apps

  • Hide a purchased app: Press and hold the Control key, click the app, then choose Hide Purchase.
  • View hidden apps: Click Store > View My Account, then click Manage (to the right of Hidden Items). In the window that appears, click Unhide for apps that you want to appear in the Purchased list. When you’re finished, click Done.

Uninstall apps

Note: You can’t uninstall apps that are part of macOS, such as Safari and Mail.

  • Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located at the end of the Dock), then choose Finder > Empty Trash.

To learn how to uninstall using an app’s uninstaller, see Install, update, and uninstall apps.

Update macOS and apps

App Store keeps track of updates for macOS and apps you purchased with your Apple ID.

When an update is available, you receive a notification. You also see a badge in the App Store toolbar and on the App Store icon in the Dock that shows the number of updates available.

Badges in the App Store window and on the App Store icon in the Dock show that updates are available

Update an app from the App Store

  • Update from the Updates pane: Click Updates in the toolbar, then do one of the following:
    • Update all apps now: Click Update All.
    • Update all apps later: Click the disclosure triangle next to Update All, then choose an option.If you choose to install updates tonight, they are installed between 2:00 and 5:00 a.m. If you install updates that require you to restart your Mac, a notification appears prior to the update, so you can delay it if necessary.
  • Update from the Featured, Top Charts, or Categories areas: Click Update.
    App information bubble with Update button

Update macOS from the App Store

  • Click the More link under a macOS update to view update information and see whether updates are available for individual components of macOS (for example, Safari, iTunes, and so on).

    Note: Required security updates are installed automatically.

Update from the Apple menu

  1. To see if you have available updates, open the Apple menu.The number of updates appears to the right of App Store.
  2. To get your updates, choose App Store.
  3. After App Store opens, click Updates in the toolbar.For more instructions, see “Update macOS from the App Store” and “Update an app from the App Store,” above.

Update from an Updates Available notification

If you receive a notification that an app update is available, you can download the update without opening App Store.

  • In the notification, do one of the following:
    • Update all apps now and restart: Click Restart.
    • Update all apps later: Click Later, then choose an option.

Have App Store automatically check for updates

  1. Choose App Store > Preferences.
  2. Select “Automatically check for updates,” then select any of the related options.

For more information, see About required security updates.

Automatically keep macOS and apps up to date

You can automatically download and install macOS and app updates.

  1. Choose App Store > Preferences.
  2. Select “Automatically check for updates,” then select “Install app updates” to have your Mac install app updates automatically, or “Install macOS updates” to have your Mac install macOS updates automatically.

Install and reinstall purchased apps

There are several ways to install and reinstall apps you purchased with your Apple ID or that came with your new Mac.

Note: In the App Store, all purchased apps are listed under Purchased.

Install apps that you purchased on a different computer

You can install apps that you purchased with your Apple ID on other Mac computers.

Note: All of your purchases are tied to your Apple ID account, and can’t be transferred to another Apple ID account. If you bought apps on your iPad, iPhone, or other Mac, sign in using the same Apple ID to see all of your apps on this Mac.

  • Sign in to your account in the App Store, click Purchased, then click Install.

Automatically download apps that you purchased on a different computer

  • Sign in to your account in the App Store with your Apple ID. Choose App Store > Preferences, then select “Automatically download apps purchased on other Macs.”

Reinstall apps

If you uninstalled or deleted an app that you purchased in the App Store, you can install it again.

Note: All of your purchases are tied to your Apple ID account, and can’t be transferred to another Apple ID account. If you bought apps on your iPad, iPhone, or other Mac, sign in using the same Apple ID to see all of your apps on this Mac.

  • Sign in to your account in the App Store, then click Purchased. Locate the app you want, then click Install.

Add preinstalled apps to your account

If your Mac came with preinstalled apps, such as GarageBand, iMovie, and Photos, you can add them to your account.

Do one of the following:

  • Update from the Purchased area: Click Purchased, click Accept, then sign in using the Apple ID for the account you want to add the apps to.
  • Update from the Featured, Top Charts, or Categories area: Locate the app in the Featured, Top Charts, or Categories area, then click Accept.

After preinstalled apps are added to your account, they’re listed with the rest of your purchased apps. If you delete the apps later, you can reinstall them using the instructions above.

Manage app subscriptions

You can change renewal settings for app subscriptions you purchased in the App Store.

  1. Choose Store > View My Account, sign in, then click Manage (next to Subscriptions).
  2. If an app is set to renew automatically, do any of the following:
    • Change your renewal duration: Select a setting in the Renewal Options list.
    • Turn off automatic renewal: Click Cancel Subscription.

You can also download an app from the Internet or install an app from a disc. See Install, update, and uninstall apps for instructions.

Tell people about apps

In App Store, you can rate, review, and tell your friends about apps.

Rate an app you purchased or downloaded: On the app’s description page, click a star next to “Rate this application.”

Write a review of an app you purchased or downloaded: On the app’s description page, click the link below Customer Reviews to write a review. Enter review information, then click Submit.

Tell your friends about an app: Click the info bubble pop-up menu, then choose an option.

App information button showing the pop-up menu for choosing an option for sharing info about an app
  • Copy Link: Create a copy of the link to the app description page. You can paste the link into an email message or a document.
  • Tell a Friend: Send an email about the app.
  • Share on Twitter: Tweet about the app.
  • Share to Facebook: Create a Facebook post about the app.

About required security updates

Your Mac checks daily for required security updates and notifies you when one is available in App Store. If the update does not require you to restart your Mac, it’s installed automatically after a specified amount of time. Otherwise, the update is installed the next time you restart your Mac.

If you prefer, you can always manually install required security updates.

  • Choose App Store > Preferences, then deselect “Install system data files and security updates.”

App Store keyboard shortcuts

App Store includes keyboard shortcuts for common macOS commands and for navigation.

Navigation shortcuts are shown below; look in the menus to find shortcuts for common commands.

Action

Shortcut

Display Featured apps Command-1
Display Top Charts Command-2
Display Categories Command-3
Display Purchased Apps Command-4
Display Updates Command-5
Search for an app Command-F
Refresh the current page Command-R
Go to the previous page Command—Left bracket ( [ )

On a trackpad, swipe two fingers to the left.

If you have a Magic Mouse, swipe one finger to the left.

Go to the next page Command—Right bracket ( ] )

On a trackpad, swipe two fingers to the right.

If you have a Magic Mouse, swipe one finger to the right.