How to Update Apps from the Mac App Store

Jan 16, 2011 - 7 Comments

Updates are available for Mac apps from the Mac App Store

When an update is available for any Mac app that has been installed through the Mac App Store, you will notice the App Store icon in Mac OS X gets a numerical badge on it, indicating the number of software updates available. Additionally, you will notice the the App Store entry within the  Apple menu will show an “Updates” note alongside it.

If the App Store is indicating there are updates available, that means it’s time to install those software updates on the Mac. This is an easy process, but if you’re new to the Mac it may be unfamiliar to you.

Let’s walk through how to update apps installed onto the Mac via the App Store.

How to Install and Update Apps in the Mac App Store

This works to install and update any Mac apps obtained from the App Store, with any modern version of Mac OS X that supports the App Store.

  1. Quit any apps that are open on the Mac that may need updating (you can quit all apps if you aren’t sure which do)
  2. Open the  Apple menu and go to “App Store”, this launches the Mac App Store application
  3. How to install updates to Mac apps from App Store

  4. Click on the “Updates” icon tab if it is indicating updates are available on the Mac, once here you have two options:
    • To update all Mac apps, click on the “Update All” button
    • To update individual apps only, click on the “Update” button next to the individual app name
  5. Let the App Store download and install the updates

mac app store install updates

Remember, this only updates apps that have been installed through the Mac App Store, if you have apps that were installed from another source they will not be listed in the updates list regardless of how old their version is.

This is obviously a beginner tip, but as the resident “Mac guy” in the family, I was just asked how to do this, so hopefully this helps someone else too.

If you forget to install updates and they frequently pile up, consider using Automatic App Updates on the Mac, which offers an easy hands-off solution to keeping things up to date without effort.

Troubleshooting “Sign in to (null) to update applications for that account”
If you get the “Sign in to (null)” message when trying to update an app, simply delete the app from your applications folder and redownload it from the Mac App Store by clicking the “Install” button. This is a bug in the Mac App Store and there is no need to sign into any other account.

mac app store updates

If you encounter any other weird bugs or issues with the Mac App Store, simply quitting and relaunching, or sometimes rebooting the Mac will fix the problem. Then you should be able to install any updates available as need be.


Related articles:

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


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. josphat says:


  2. Lalit says:

    I Just purchased mac mini and whenever i m trying to insert my apple id it
    This Apple ID has not yet been used with the App Store.
    please review

    it is necessary to provide my credit card detail ?
    can i create it without them ?

  3. […] next time you’re trying to tell someone how to update apps from the Mac App Store, why bother with a walkthrough when you can just send them a URL? Yup, you can send someone directly to the Mac App Store’s […]

  4. […] you’re new to all of this, you can learn how to update apps through the Mac App Store, it’s extremely […]

  5. mazi says:

    Am I the only one who have problems with updates? When I try to update then this occurs: “Sign in to (null) to update applications for that account.”
    I have only one Apple ID. Does anyone know how to solve it?

  6. skz says:

    it is not automatic?

  7. Jarrod says:

    I knew this, but has anyone had issues with the Twitter app still showing up in the updates. I have “updated” about seven times.

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