How to Re-Download OS X Mountain Lion Installer from the Mac App Store

Jul 26, 2012 - 31 Comments

Redownload the OS X Mountain Lion installer from the Mac App Store

After you’ve upgraded to OS X Mountain Lion on the primary Mac you bought it from, the installer app deletes itself from your /Applications/ folder. This makes sense for those who only own a single Mac, but if you plan on installing OS X Mountain Lion on multiple Macs or just want to create an additional boot USB drive for installs and upgrades, it’s kind of annoying.

If you fall into the multi-Mac category or want a backup of the installer around, you’ll need to re-download the Mountain Lion installer app from the Mac App Store – you will not be charged again for redownloading – here’s how:

  • Launch the Mac App Store and hold down the “Option” while clicking on the “Purchases” tab
  • Locate “OS X Mountain Lion” in the list, and click on the “Install” button to redownload
  • Find the “Install OS X Mountain Lion” app in your /Applications/ folder when finished downloading

For those with bandwidth concerns it’s a good idea to make a copy of the Installer app somewhere so you don’t lose it again. Or just make a boot disk and not worry about it again.


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


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  1. bobie says:

    My macbook pro was broken after i try install windows 7. Now if i try turn on its only appear the apple loggo.. and loading a while… after it the loading bar gone after about 30% of loading… its only blank with white color… if there any solution how can i repair it..

  2. kmw says:

    Recently purchased Mountain Lion to upgrade my MacBook from Lion 10.7.5. I realize there are issues with 32-bit support that I have other workarounds for, but they require a local copy of the OS. Dang app store is blocking the download…

    “We could not complete your purchase. OS X Mountain Lion is not compatible with this computer.”

    I don’t have other mac devices to use as an intermediary and the ‘option’ trick while clicking purchases didn’t work. Any other suggestions?

  3. Old_pedagog says:

    Hi, I have bitten the bullet and bought a used MacBook, it is running OS X Snow Leopard, the same as on my father in Law’s iMac. He now wants to upgrade to Mountain Lion but is put off by adverse comments and would like me to install it first, on my machine, as a trial. I have been having all sorts of speed and drop-out problems with my broadband connection and am considering downloading Mountain Lion on his computer. I have read your article on ‘re-downloading OS X’ but am still not clear if I can do what I plan. Can you answer these queries please?
    1/ If I download Mountain Lion to my father in law’s computer do I then HAVE to install it there and then as part of the process? He is not happy with this.
    2/ If after downloading and ‘saving’ Mountain Lion on his machine can I then install it on my MacBook by copying the saved file and transferring it? Or do I have to do the re-download you suggested?

  4. Joe says:

    thanks! Solved my problem.

  5. Charlie says:

    I managed to re-download Lion from App store for a fresh install, but with some pain in the process.

    Long story short, option-click in purchases did not work and that happened to be that when I bought Lion I lived in a different country so my app store then corresponded to that country.

    I had to figure out that if I changed back my address information in the app store account to that of the time of the purchase, Lion appeared on purchases when pressing option-click.

    Of course, I downloaded it and stored several copies of the installer.

    In the meanwhile I contacted Apple via email, receiving very polite but useless replies.

    In my opinion it is terrible for something like this to happen. Something as fundamental as the operating system of your computer should be always available for download.

    Unfortunately it reminds me of a very renowned printer manufacturer that explicitly said that one should buy a new printer if you ungraded from XP to Vista or 7.

    Hope it helps, Charlie.

  6. Darren says:

    I have had so many problems getting MacOS 10.8 to download, and finally I found a solution, as crazy as it sounds it worked!

    I set my iPhone up as a personal hotspot, switched my Mac to use the iPhone’s internet connection via blue tooth and then amazingly the download started to work.

    After it got past a point, (Always 75mb) I switched the mac back to the Ethernet connection and the down load so far is continuing without further problems…

    My main internet connection is a Fibre to premises line, perhaps this is the problem when using a Mac.

  7. philip says:

    Please I don’t have a mac, and I want to download the os x mountain lion, ihow can I do it

  8. Steve says:

    HI… My Mac has died… but i know I can easily fix it if I can get my already purchased Lion install from the App Store. Trouble is… the only computer I can get online with is a Power PC Mini Mac, which can not access the App Store :( Is there any way to get the file downloaded using a Power PC? This is mind numbingly frustrating!!! Thank You!

  9. Ben Hegarty says:

    I just navigated to Mountain Lion in the Top Charts and clicked “Download”

    It gave me a dialog: “You already have Mountain Lion installed, are you sure you would you like to continue?”

    Clicked yes and BAM! It’s downloading!

    Let me know if it works for you too…

  10. JB says:

    I tried the otion click, didn’t work.
    I signed out then resign in to my apple ID and it worked.

  11. Keith says:

    Ya, No luck for me either. Mountain Lion was indeed hidden, but even when unhidden, I only have the option to Download. guess I was one of the unlucky ones

    • John says:

      I figured it out!!
      Go to your account settings and under “purchased apps” it’ll say 1 hidden app, go into that section. Unhide Mountain Lion, click done and go back to purchases, it’ll show up and just hit download.

      Hope this helps

  12. lol says:

    why not copying it after first download?

  13. circulair says:

    I downloaded last night and still have “DOWNLOAD” in App store – Purchases folder? noticing some bugs, 1st: Calendar
    alarm to wake me every Wednesday to put rubbish wheelies out, was moved to Monday????

  14. Jim says:

    Im fed up of seeing this hint. It just doesn’t do anything holding Option or any other key down to re-download an app.

    Mountain Lion is always available as a download rather than just install.

    • Gordon M says:

      I completely agree.

      I think my earlier comment was misunderstood. Holding option or not could not *hide* the Download button. It is always there for me and doesn’t say “Install” when it’s already installed. This hint is trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist (for me).

      What might be happening is that the purchase is hidden for some people and they might need to go into their account in the Mac App store to check.

      I made a copy of the InstallESD.dmg before I installed anyway.

  15. Nicko says:

    Neve rmind—I figured it out. For some reason the purchase was marked as hidden!

    • bga says:

      Yup this was my problem too. Guys if you don’t see it in Purchases list, go to account and show Hidden purchases, it’s there.

      • AdamT says:

        Thank you Nicko & bga…I didn’t realize I had “hidden” the purchase when it there was a little hiccup during downloading. Thank you for the help!

  16. Nicko says:

    I successfully downloaded and installed Mountain Lion yesterday, and it’s running just fine. I have my receipt form the Ap store, yet. . . . when I option-click on purchases Mtn. Lion does not show up!!

  17. Josh says:

    If this doesn’t work for anyone, just create a new User Account then log into that with Fast User Switching, open Mac App Store from new User, and bam, you can download Mountain Lion again.

  18. Gordon M says:

    Holding option down when clicking Purchases makes no difference for me.

    Whether I click or option-click, I still see “Download” links for both Mountain Lion and Lion for me to download again if I want. If I click “Download”, it says 10.8 is already installed and asks me to confirm that I want to download it.

    I don’t see the point of this hint.

    • ouu says:

      option click Mountain Lion download button

      • Doug M says:

        That doesn’t work for me either. Neither option clicking purchases nor the mountain lion download get me back to lion. It just downloads mountain lion.

        I already have lion dmg, but the inconsistancy is anoying.

  19. jj says:

    answered my question, thank you

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