Save the Mac App Store Password for Free Downloads in OS X

Jan 27, 2016 - 18 Comments

Mac App Store

Having to constantly enter the Apple ID password to download free apps from the Mac App Store is kind of annoying, but thanks to a new settings option you can stop the authentication requirement for free apps while still maintaining it for paid app downloads and for in-app purchases in OS X.

This works just like it does with allowing free downloads from the iOS App Store without password entry on any iPhone or iPad, so if you like that setting in the mobile world, consider enabling it on the Mac too.

How to Allow Free Downloads from the Mac App Store Without Password Entry

  1. Quit the App Store on the Mac if you have it open
  2. Open System Preferences from the  Apple menu and go to “App Store”
  3. Under “Password Settings” click on ‘Free Download’ and choose “Save Password”
  4. Under “Purchases and In-App Purchases” select either “Always Require” or “After 15 Minutes” is what the header question “Require a password for additional purchases after a purchase from the App Store with this computer?” pertains to, choose whichever is appropriate for your Mac usage
  5. Leave System Preferences and relaunch the Mac App Store

Save password for free app store downloads in Mac OS X

Now you’re free to download any Mac app that isn’t paid, and you won’t need to login with the Apple ID each time.

Depending on the setting you picked for purchases, you can do the same with a paid download if the purchase appears within the allotted time since authenticating.

The ability to save the app store passwords for free downloads from the Mac App Store is included in the latest versions of OS X, anything beyond 10.11 will include the ability while prior versions will not.

As alluded, this feature is equally as useful on the iPhone and iPad if you find yourself downloading a lot of free apps and don’t want to deal with password entry or Touch ID.

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


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  1. Jack Countryman says:

    The screen I get when logging into the app store is different from the one you show. How do I get to the one you show? None of the choices on the first screen I see when I log in takes me there. So, there evidently are some steps you left out?

  2. Dexter says:

    App Store panel is apparently not available in Mountain Lion. But thanks for the tip.

  3. There’s an error on this page. The example you show checks the ‘require password’ box instead of the ‘save password’ box.

  4. John Ferman says:

    How does work on the iPad and iPhone?

  5. Chris Marshall says:

    I agree with Jack. I run Mavericks. I assume that your tip is for 10.11. If so, maybe you should have said so!

    • Bobbles Mcgee says:

      Yea Jack and Chris you have a real great point, for example I am running DOS 6.11 and I don’t have this screen, all I have is text! I type some text and I get some text back! What kind of Mac is that? Will this work on my Atari 2600? Does Atari 2600 run OS X Sequoia? 10.12? I brought out the record player too I still can’t run it! Will try Ham Radio next, maybe OS X App Store supports HAM radio?

      Can you tell me which one of these is going to work with the Mac App Store? Can I put my Macintosh on Windows 95?? I assume this tip is for Windows 11?

      Anyone know if I can get OS X 10.12 on my Cuneiform tablet? Should I wait for macOS 11 before installing it on my stone monolith?

      • Chris Marshall says:

        DOS – Dead Operating System?
        HAM – comes from pigs?
        btw, I used DOS until Win 3 appeared. Heaven help us!
        I was in a ‘HAM’ radio club when I was a teenager!
        Mac on Windows, good luck! – in your dreams.

      • Manny says:

        No need for such an over-the-top response. A few words in the original article to note which versions are affected would have been sufficient to resolve this.

  6. Wharf Xanadu says:

    Wow some of you comments lol

  7. Bob Martin says:

    My App panel is different too – Automatically check for updates is a ticked GREY box not blue and I have no Password Settings option – any ideas?
    I am running Yosemite

    • Odin says:

      This is a version for new OS X releases, which is OK but let’s be honest here: El Capitan is way better than Yosemite ever was. For those who are on Yosemite they should really upgrade to OS X El Capitan, it is a better experience, faster, and more stable. Back up your Mac first, then upgrade to 10.11.3 or later onto your Mac, it’s way better than any of the prior releases!

  8. Dieter Schaffner says:

    I am running 10.10.5 Yosemite, and the App Store preference window does not have the option for Password settings either.

  9. Matthew Santos says:

    Hey, where can I find the screenshot you’re using in your Mac? And thanks for the tip!

  10. Arthur Jacobs says:

    on the 5 c if it is powered off will it still log incoming calls, messages,and voicemails ?

    • Poozono says:

      Arthur, when I saved my Mac App Store password for downloading apps from the Mac App Store for free (in OS X), I was able to get the apps for free and I did not need to log in with the Apple ID. Your voicemails and texts will still come in regardless of the password being entered or not. The App Store doesn’t log calls, that’s what an iPhone does.

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