App Store Purchases and Updates

Besides helping you find new apps to install, the Mac App Store also has screens that show you your past purchases and lots of information about app updates. On the purchases screen you can re-download apps you have purchased in the past or on another Mac. On the Updates screen you can read detailed information about updates and decide when to install them.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: App Store Purchases and Updates.

Hi, this is Gary with On today's episode let's take a look at the Purchases and Updates pages in the Mac App Store app.

So the App Store app allows you to go and find new apps that you want to download. Both free apps and apps you pay for. But there are some functions of it that deal with the apps that you have already bought.

For instance, if you go to Purchases here you will see a list of all the apps that you have previously purchased, even if the purchase was free. You can scroll through this list. There are buttons on the right. Now if it says Open it means that you already have that app installed and you can open it here without having to go and find it.

If you see something like Install or Download it means that you have purchased this app before. So you are on record as owning it but you haven't installed it on this Mac. Perhaps you have uninstalled it, perhaps you've gotten a new Mac, or perhaps you have multiple Macs like a laptop and a desktop and you only installed it on one.

Since you purchased that app you don't have to pay for it again. You can just use this Install button. This also allows you to own more apps than you actually have on your Mac. For instance you can purchase something you need to use once then get rid of it to free up space. Perhaps you get a new Mac and you just don't bother to add it. Later on you can then go to the Purchases List, find it, and hit the install button.

So your library of apps can be here and you don't have to install them all. The same thing with music and books and such. You can make all those purchases but it doesn't mean that you have to have them all on your machine.

Now you can also Control Click on any of these to hide them. So if there is something, say, a game and you've finished playing the game and you just don't want to see it in this list anymore for some reason you can use that to hide it so it won't be there.

Now another thing is when you go to these apps, so say I'm going to actually click here and it will actually take me to the page for the app in the App Store and you can see it has the Install button rather than a Purchase button or Download button if it is free, for this app. So if I have hidden something I can still go to its page on the App Store and I can still install if from there. I don't have to have it in that list to reinstall it.

There is also this Updates button here. What this Updates button will do is it will show you updates that are pending and you can use Update to initiate that update or use Update All. You can also use the More button and get more information about it.

Now if I had previous updates here on this Mac, because I'm using a different user account it is not showing them, I can also read the release notes. Reading the release notes is important. A lot of times I get questions from people saying that something has changed in an app they've got or something is new or something has been removed. A lot of times the explanation for that is in the release notes that you can find here by going to the Updates page and reading what is there for each app.

So a couple more things I want to point out. This Update All button if you click on the right side of it you can choose to do something like try to install an app in an hour, tonight, or remind me tomorrow. So you have those extra functions.

Also if you go to the Store menu here you can jump to Purchases and Updates through there. But also you've got this Check for Unfinished Downloads function. So this is useful if you've bought something and maybe it is a large download and you haven't finished installing it, and later on you want to complete that install and it doesn't seem to be doing it on its own you can go to Store and Check for Unfinished Downloads to do that.

One last thing I want to point out is there is some links along the bottom and the Frequently Asked Questions link has some interesting information about things. Like, for instance, you may not know that when you purchase an app on one computer you can get it on all your computers for that same price. You don't have to buy it again if you own two Macs for instance.

And other things like the refund policy, things like that. So there is some interesting information here to read it over and make yourself more familiar with how the Mac App Store works.

Comments: 9 Responses to “App Store Purchases and Updates”

    4 years ago

    As always great information from MacMost. Thanks for many informative video

    Robert Hogg
    4 years ago

    how do i trace my purchase ??

    4 years ago

    After I’ve hidden a purchase ( Ctrl+ click), how can I get it back in my purchase list?

      4 years ago

      Choose Store, View My Account and sign in. Then under Hidden Items click Manage.

    4 years ago

    Is it possible to download the list of Purchases? I’d like to be able to sort by Name or Installed/Not Installed etc. Thanks.

    4 years ago

    Perhaps not germane, but I hope that Apple will begin paying some attention to UI for older folks. The Mac App Store is one of the worst offenders, using tiny type, in gray, which is hard to read, cannot be zoomed or made larger by option.

      4 years ago

      Have you tried changing the resolution of your screen? Most new Macs use a retina display which looks good at various resolutions, keeping text sharp. If you have trouble reading text, start by making the screen resolution more comfortable for you. If that doesn’t work, then try some of the options in System Preferences, Accessibility, Display and Zoom categories.

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