Cancel Downloads from the Mac App Store

Aug 3, 2011 - 33 Comments

Cancel Download from the Mac App Store

While clarifying the instructions on how to re-download Mac OS X Lion from the App Store I discovered a neat little trick; you can cancel downloads.

Hold down the Option key from the “Purchases” menu in the Mac App Store, this causes the “Pause” button to turn into “Cancel”

If you click that “Cancel” button you will get a warning dialog box asking to confirm that is what you wanted to do, and reminding you that can re-download the app again for free at any time.

Cancel a download from the Mac App Store and download again later free

The ability to re-download purchases from the Mac App Store is part of the personal use license for OS X Lion and other apps offered through the App Store as well, as long as you are downloading them on your personally authorized Macs using the same Apple ID.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks


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  1. xf says:

    you can do this from iTunes store as well

  2. Chuck says:

    The app store checkpoints large downloads and will resume from the last transferred amount prior to the network interruption and accompanying “try again” dialog box.

    • Danilo Besa says:

      The Pause and Resume does not work properly on my OSX download. I always lose my previous night download and have to start to “0” byte again. Instead of Resume, the Lion OSX download under Purchases shows “INSTALL”.
      Is there a proper download procedure that I missed?
      Until now I still got Zero byte for my download since I purchase two weeks ago.

  3. tim says:

    great tip!

  4. Nickiler says:

    Also, works on the Launchpad !-)

  5. Chevalisa says:

    Thanks, helpful

  6. DavidB says:

    I was wondering how to stop a download from the App Store. I was pretty sure there was some way to do that. Thanks for showing me how to do it.

  7. Bill says:

    Thank you for the helpful tip! Started downloading Lion and then got frustrated after having waited hours for the download to complete. Cancelled the download and going to stick with Snow Leopard.

  8. Gary says:

    Excellent! Thx as I accidentally started an XCode4 install and forgot that this was a problematic update to Xcode!


  9. key says:

    Wonderful, thanks a lot!

  10. mikalela says:

    Como hago para cancelar una descarga que no se puede cancelar? Ayuda por favor!!!! Gracias

  11. Dominic says:

    Thanx,grit tip.

  12. Hana says:

    Thank you for this nice tips. It’s really helpful my fault :)

  13. Sasha says:

    I panicked for a minute when I did this and the app disappeared from my purchases list. Turns out I just had to view my account and “unhide” it.

  14. Toby says:

    Great tip, appreciated

  15. Mark says:

    Helped me. Thanks.

  16. Reddy Mahesh says:

    Thanks a million. It helped me.

  17. Mihir Gupta says:

    i dont knoe which is the option button
    plzz tell me

  18. STACCCE says:


    thanks so much for posting this! just saved me $74.99!

  19. hebronamos says:

    there was no “CANCEL” appears when i paused the downloading. why? please help,

  20. jon says:

    this just changed my world. thank you.

  21. Alana says:


  22. Smith says:

    Thank you. I love your site.

  23. Edward says:

    Thanks a lot, really help me. thanks thanks

  24. Akash says:

    Thank You!! I wasn’t aware that option key will create such magic. I was just struggling to cancel the paused process.
    Finally worked for me :)

  25. judy says:

    oh my goodness, this is exactly what i needed after i started downloading mavericks (and after reading the comments and learning the external drive issues) and quickly realized i didn’t want it anymore!! I had been searching everywhere on how to cancel the download as it was still showing as downloading underneath my applications folder on my dock!!

    thanks soooooo much!

    • tuiu says:

      The external drive issues were limited to certain Western Digital drives using Western Digital software, they have since been resolved. Mavericks is great, feel free to upgrade!

  26. Adam says:

    It works for me. really help me, thanks…

  27. Kevin says:

    Magic, many thanks

  28. Fatih Süzer says:

    Great Tip! Thanks a lot

  29. leetom says:


  30. Narayanan Ramesh says:

    Thanks a lot. Saved my time.

  31. themusic says:

    go to app store and go to purchase or updates tab. Hold the option key on your mac and cancel download button will apear

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