Why Is My App Store Not Working On My Macbook [12 Quick Fixes]

Why is my app store not working on my Macbook? If you’re asking yourself this question, you’ve surely had trouble launching the App Store recently. It’s likely that it simply ‘blanked out’ or gave you the dreaded ‘Can’t Connect to the App Store’ message. So, what do you do about it?

Well, there are several fixes to try out. These include checking the internet connection, time, date, and region and force quitting the App Store. You could also try signing out and back in, rebooting in safe mode, updating the macOS, clearing the cache, or resetting the default keychain.

However, sometimes the Apple server itself might be down, in which case there’s nothing to do on your end. So, let’s just go over the solutions to the other issues a little more closely.

How to Fix App Store Not Working on Macbook?

The following fixes have been proven to work for fellow Macbook users who have the same App Store issue. At least a few of them should do the trick for you, too. So, keep trying one by one.

At a Glance:

Potential IssueSolution
Internet connection issueCheck wifi/Ethernet connection, disable VPN
Incorrect date, time, or region settingsEnable “Set date and time automatically” in System Preferences
App Store server downCheck the Apple System Status page and confirm
App Store not respondingForce quit and restart the App Store
Restrictions enabledDisable restrictions in Screen Time settings
Sign in issuesSign out and back in to Apple ID, try different Apple ID
DNS conflictsChange DNS server to Google or Cloudflare
Corrupted cache filesClear App Store cache in Finder
Software issuesReboot in Safe Mode, update macOS, install combo update if necessary
Keychain problemsReset default keychain in Keychain Access
Can’t access App StoreDownload apps from the web or third party, use Terminal

Check Your Internet Connection

This is a no-brainer, but crucial nonetheless. First, ensure your wifi or Ethernet network is functioning well.

You can try opening other websites or online services to see if your internet is working fine. Also, do a quick speed check on your connection to make sure it’s fast enough.

Besides, VPNs often get in the way of the network link-up between the App Store and Apple’s server, which can disrupt its regular operation. So, try disabling it if you’re using one.

Check the Date, Time, and Region

Take a peek at the date and time on the menu bar’s top right corner. Do you see the current date and time?

If not, this might be limiting your App Store access. This is because the wrong date and time keep your computer from connecting to the online services in real-time.

To fix this:

  • Go to System Preferences.
Go to System Preferences
  • Select Date & Time, and toggle on ‘Set date and time automatically.’
Set date and time automatically
  • If it’s already enabled, try unchecking and rechecking it.
try unchecking and rechecking it

Likewise, be sure the Region settings are correct in Language and region preferences.

Check If the App Store Service Is Up

If you had no luck doing the first two check-ups, you’ll have to see if Apple is at fault. But how do you check that?

Usually, when Apple’s App Store server cracks down, you’ll see the message “App Store error. Try again later.”

But you can also check Apple’s System Status to confirm. Just find the App Store from the given lineup and see the dot’s color next to it. If it’s green, the service is up; if it’s red, it’s down from Apple’s end.

Check If the App Store Service Is Up

Force Quit the App Store and Restart

You’ve checked the internet connection, checked out on the date, time, and region settings, and also looked up Apple’s System Status. Are you still blocked out from accessing the App Store even though everything is in order?

Well, it could be a temporary glitch with the application itself. In this case, you’ll want to force quit the app to see if it helps.

To force quit the App Store:

  • Press ‘Command’ + ‘Option’ + ‘Esc’ simultaneously to open the Force Quit Applications window.
  • From the following pop-up, select App Store and click ‘Force Quit’ at the bottom right.
force quit the App Store

Now, before you try to launch the App Store again, it’s a good idea to restart your computer first. That allows the operating system to refresh after shaking off the glitches.

Turn Off Restrictions

Did you accidentally set restrictions on the App Store? Perhaps it was meant for your nosy kid, but you forgot about it, and now it’s stopping you from getting into the store.

Here’s how to turn off or adjust restrictions:

  • Open System Preferences.
  • Click on ‘Screen Time’ and then ‘Content & Privacy’.
  • Ensure the ‘App Store and identified developers’ option is allowed under ‘Allowed Apps.’
Allowed Apps
  • If necessary, disable Content & Privacy Restrictions entirely to see if that solves the problem.

Sign Out of Your Apple ID and Sign Back in

Still no luck? Try signing out of your Apple/iCloud ID before logging back in. This is particularly useful when you get the “Apple ID has not been used with the App Store” message.

Here’s a quick way to do it:

  • Go to System Preferences.
  • Click on Apple ID.
  • Scroll to the bottom and click ‘Overview’ if you’re not already on that page.
Sign Out of Your Apple ID and Sign Back in
  • Click on ‘Sign Out.’
  • After signing out, restart your Macbook.
  • Then, sign back in by going to System Preferences, clicking on ‘Sign in to your Mac,’ and entering your Apple ID credentials.

Note: Signing out will remove access to iCloud Drive, iCloud Photos, and other iCloud features until you sign back in. Make sure to keep a backup of any important documents if necessary.

However, some people reported that the “Apple ID has not been used with the App Store” bug wasn’t fixed even after signing out and back in again.

Fortunately, we found another workaround for this from this Reddit thread, where it suggested the following:

  • Try to sign in through iTunes or Apple TV. But if it doesn’t help,
  • Go to Settings >> Apple Pay
  • Fill out the billing address and save it before going back into the App Store.

Why not give this solution a try and see how it goes?

Sign in with a Different ID

Sometimes, the problem could be account-specific. If the App Store works fine with a different Apple ID, there might be an issue with your original account. Like, there might be some ID or address verification issues.

To use a different ID, sign out of your original account the same way we showed above and sign in with the new ID or create one anew. Keep in mind, though, that Apple doesn’t recommend continually switching between different Apple IDs.

Change the DNS

We’ve already discussed the network-related issues that might be blocking your App Store access. However, there’s one more network setting worth tweaking – the DNS configuration.

Sometimes, the DNS used by your internet service provider can interfere with Apple services’ network. And from what we’ve found on Reddit, changing the DNS server settings seemed to work for some users.

To try this out, here’s what you need to do:

  • Go to System Preferences.
  • Choose ‘Network’ and select your internet method (wifi or ethernet).
  • Click ‘Advanced’ and switch to the DNS tab.
  • Click the ‘+’ sign to add a new DNS server.
Change the DNS
  • Type in 8.8.8.8 or 8.8.4.4 (Google’s DNS) or 1.1.1.1 (Cloudflare’s DNS).
  • Press OK and then ‘Apply’ to save the changes.

Clear Up the App Store Cache

Oftentimes, just like with web browsers, the App Store can build up cache files that can get corrupted. And that, in turn, may interrupt the entire operation.

Clearing the cache might just resolve the issue if nothing else does. To clear your App Store cache:

  • Open ‘Finder’ on your Macbook.
  • In the menu bar at the top of the screen, click ‘Go’ and select ‘Go to Folder.’
  • Type ‘~/Library/Caches/com.apple.appstore’ and press enter.
  • Back up the files if needed, then delete all the files within this folder.
  • Again, do the same with ‘~/Library/Caches/com.apple.appstoreagent’

After emptying the cache, restart the App Store and check if it worked.

Reboot Your Macbook in Safe Mode

The Safe Mode in Mac is a diagnostic mode for booting up your computer with only the essential components. It comes in handy when a problem arises from some third-party software or the operating system itself.

So, if your App Store doesn’t connect, rebooting in safe mode will likely help since it will rid the system of any stumbling blocks.

If your Mac has an Intel CPU, here’s what you’ll have to do.

  • Give your Mac a restart and hold down the Shift key as it boots up.
  • Let go of Shift when the login window pops up.
  • Log in, and you’ll spot the Safe Boot note in the top-right corner of your screen.

On Apple Silicon Macs, do the following.

  • Restart your Mac and hold down the power button for 10 seconds as it boots up.
  • Let go when Startup options show up on the screen.
  • Now, choose your startup disk, hit the Shift key, and click “Continue in Safe Mode.
  • Let go of the Shift key and sign in to your Mac.

Update macOS to the Latest Version

Moving on to another technical fix, let’s tackle the operating system itself.

Occasionally, outdated macOS versions can lead to apps not functioning correctly, including the App Store. However, keeping up with the latest updates can solve these sorts of bugs and improve overall compatibility.

Here is how you can update macOS:

  • Click on the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen.
  • Choose ‘System Preferences,’ then click ‘Software Update.’
Update macOS to the Latest Version
  • You’ll see an ‘Update Now’ button if any updates are available. Click it to start the update process.

Be sure to connect your computer to a power source, and try not to use your Macbook while the update gets installed.

Install a Combo Update

Now, if this regular update doesn’t help fix things up, you might want to do a Combo Update, which fixes issues from any previous updates you made.

To find the necessary combo updates, you’ll need to head over to Apple Downloads, as they won’t appear on your MacBook’s software update window.

And always be sure to back up your data before installing a Combo update, as it wipes out everything on the older system.

Reset the Default Keychain

Still stuck? It might be time to reset your MacBook’s Keychain to default.

The Keychain manages your login details and passwords. So, if its files get corrupted or glitched, they can interrupt any service that requires their association.

And as you can see from this Reddit thread, this was the only fix that actually worked for the original poster when everything else failed.

Keep in mind, though, that it’s a drastic step – you’ll lose all saved passwords and have to log in across the system all over again.

So, here’s how you go about this when ready:

  • Open ‘Finder,’ go to ‘Applications’ and then ‘Utilities.’
  • Open ‘Keychain Access’.
  • Then, in the menu bar, click ‘Keychain Access’ and then ‘Preferences.’
Reset the Default Keychain
  • Click ‘Reset My Default Keychains’.
  • Enter your Mac login password when prompted and click ‘OK.’

Once done, restart your Macbook and try reaccessing the App Store.

Alternative Ways to Install Apps on Macbook without the App Store

Ideally, these fixes will get your App Store running again, but there’s always a chance you might still experience problems.

If that’s the case and you really need to get some software ASAP, there are other ways to install or update apps on your Mac. Check these out:

Download the App from the Web

Depending on the app, you may be able to download it directly from the developer’s website. You can simply Google the app’s name or navigate to the official site and download the installation file.

Use a Third-Party Software Manager

Platforms such as Setapp or the developer’s own distribution channels might also help install the software you need. These can be especially useful when you’re looking for apps that aren’t available on the App Store.

Run the Terminal Commands for Installation

Certain apps, especially ones for developers and tech-savvy users, can be installed on your system using Terminal commands. For example, you can type ‘brew install’ if you’ve got Homebrew installed.

But be sure to stick to the app’s official instructions to avoid any issues while installing.

Update Apps via Terminal

If you want to update any of your existing app without the App Store, Terminal could be your friend here as well. Depending on the app, some can be updated with simple command lines.

For a standard update, you can usually type:

sudo softwareupdate -i [name]

Replace [name] with the desired app name and hit Return on your keyboard.

Conclusion

And that’s a wrap. Hopefully, these troubleshooting steps and alternative methods should get you back on track with installing, updating, and using apps on your MacBook.

But remember, if none of these steps resolve your issue, it may be best to contact Apple Support for further assistance. Don’t forget to check their online resources and community forums for additional tips and solutions that might be specific to your situation.

With their help, you should be able to address any persistent issues with the App Store or app installations on your Mac.

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