Mac App Store: An Error has occurred


Apple iTunes

First and foremost, loving the new Mac App Store. The Mac App Store makes it very easy to find new apps at great deals and also makes it easy to keep track of updates, etc…

The Mac App Store is a great tool not only for consumers but even more so for developers. Being a developer myself I find it very simple to have a central location that I can submit my Mac applications to and not have to worry about any of the backend processing such as merchant accounts, refunds, updates, etc…

The downside is when a consumer has an issue downloading one of your apps. There isn’t much you can do short of telling them they must contact Apple. Well, if I was a consumer and had an issue downloading an app after I had already paid for it, then I would expect the app developer to help me with the issue. I have recently encountered an issue with a consumer that tried to download an update to one of my apps. After attempting the download the consumer was greeted with the very generic error message, An Error has occurred…

In this post I am going to show you how to fix this error message. In my opinion this error occurs because of some Meta Data issue.

There are 2 possibilities for fixing this issue, one of which involves deleting all the content from the AppStore folder and the other involves the terminal and running a command line tool to enable debugging for the Mac App Store.

Solution Number 1: Deleting all content from the AppStore folder

  • Sign out of the Mac App Store by clicking on Store->Sign Out from the App Store Menu
  • Quit the Mac App Store App
  • Open Finder and browse to ~/Library/Application Support/AppStore/ (Where ~ is your home folder) If you don’t know how to get to your home folder you can open up Macintosh HD double click on the Users folder and then double click on your username and then follow the rest of the path or you can from the Finder menu click on Go and then click on Go To Folder and copy and paste the above path.
  • Once you are within the AppStore folder, select everything and move it to the Trash
  • Start the Mac App Store App
  • Sign into the Mac App Store by clicking on Store->Sign In from the App Store Menu

After signing in, you should see your downloads resuming and hopefully everything will go smoothly and you will not have to witness the “An Error has occurred” error message.

Solution Number 2: Enable Debugging for the Mac App Store

  • Open Terminal either by navigating to Applications/Utilities/Terminal or by pressing Command+SpaceBar and typing Terminal into Spotlight
  • At the prompt type the following: defaults write com.apple.appstore ShowDebugMenu -bool true
  • Relaunch the Mac App Store
  • Choose the menu item Debug Menu->Reset App
  • Choose the menu item Debug Menu->Check for Available Downloads

Solution 2, seems like a much cleaner way to fix the issue, especially moving forward. With Solution 2, you only have to set the debugging once and then if you experience the problem again you can just do Reset App and Check for Available Downloads.

Did you find this post useful? Did this fix your issue? Do you have any alternate fixes to the same problem? I’d like to hear from you, please comment below. Have a great weekend everyone..

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5 Responses to “Mac App Store: An Error has occurred”
  1. david dawson says:

    Excellent post! Thanks for the help, I used method 2 which worked like a dream… been really struggling to get OS X Lion and update some of my other apps.

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  2. Dan says:


    Had to Reset Application twice to finally start working again but did the job. It had frozen with ‘an error occurred’ after an internet outage while installing. The install actually finished by the internet outage confused the app store somehow.


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  3. gr33nkriz says:


    This has been bugging me for months. Solution 2 worked like a charm. Tkanks a lot!


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  4. CR3T4N says:

    i tried the second method through terminal because on mountain lion i don’t find the folder you mention on the first method.

    i must say that it didn’t work for me. I don’t know if it has to do with the way i am connecting to internet lately (vodafone mobile internet) .

    any other suggestions?

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  5. Tommis says:

    Great tips, I’m running Mountain Lion and had to reset about 3 times, but worked in the end using Solution 2.
    You Sir, are a saviour.
    Thank you :)

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