How to Fix "We could not complete your purchase” error on Mac?

by Alice Woods - -
12

Question

Issue: How to Fix "We could not complete your purchase” error on Mac?

I cannot download apps from Mac App Store. It gave me “We could not complete your purchase.” I tried to purchase different application, but the error still shows up. What can I do about it?

Solved Answer

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“We could not complete your purchase” is one of Mac App Store[1] errors that might occur when you download or update the app. There might be several issues that cause the error, such as:

  • problems with the Internet connection;
  • issues with Wi-Fi router;
  • incorrect DNS settings;
  • unverified Apple ID;
  • installation of apps that are not signed by Apple;
  • problems with a cache.

If one of these problems occur, the Mac App Store delivers a pop-up message saying:

We could not complete your purchase.
Unknown Error.

However, the second line of the error message might also warn about other issues, for instance:

  • A server with the specified hostname could not be found.
  • The product distribution file could not be verified. It might be damaged or was not signed.
  • [Application name] is already installed on this Mac.
  • [Application name] cannot be installed on this computer.
  • Failed to verify preflight file. It is not signed by Apple.

Fortunately, like the majority of Mac App Store errors, this one can be fixed as well. There are several ways how you can fix “We could not complete your purchase” error starting from connecting to the different Wi-Fi and finishing with changing your Apple ID password.

Fix "We could not complete your purchase” error on Mac

Methods that can help to fix “We could not complete your purchase” error on Mac

We want to point out that not all of these methods can solve the error. As you already know the error might be triggered by numerous reasons. Thus, there are tons of ways to solve them. However, if you found another method that helped you, let us know!

Method 1. Solve issues related to Internet connection

Connectivity problems often trigger app Store errors. Thus, you have to make sure that your connection works properly. If you use Wi-Fi, try to connect using cable and vice versa. Additionally, if you can, you should try to connect to a different Wi-Fi network.

Sometimes there might be some router problems.[2] Thus, checking if the “We could not complete your purchase” error show ups when you connect to a different network helps to figure it out.

Additionally, some users reported that changing DNS settings[3] also helped to solve the error.

Method 2. Reset your Apple ID password

Change Apple ID password to fix "We could not complete your purchase” error on Mac

  1. Sing into your Apple ID account page
  2. Go to Security section.
  3. Click Change Password option.
  4. Enter your current password and a new one.
  5. Confirm changes by clicking Change Password button.
  6. Restart your Mac.
  7. Sign in with a new password and try to download necessary apps from the App Store to check if it helped to solve “We could not complete your purchase” error.

If this did not help, you should follow the additional steps:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. From the Finder menu bar click Go and choose Go to Folder.
  3. Enter this path: ~/Library/Cookies
    Reset "We could not complete your purchase” error on Mac

  4. Click Go.
  5. Move these files to the Trash:
    com.apple.appstore.plist
    Cookies.plist
  6. Restart the Mac and try to download the app again.

Method 3. Verify the Apple ID in Use is the Same in iTunes and App Store

  1. Make sure that you are logged in with the same Apple ID account in both Mac App Store and iTunes.
  2. Quit iTunes and Mac App Store.
  3. Open App Store again and check if “We could not complete your purchase” error is gone.

Method 4. Accept iTunes Terms and Conditions

Apple Terms and Conditions

No matter how strange it might seem, but you may not have agreed with iTunes Terms and Conditions.[4] Therefore, you should check if you have actually accepted it. It’s especially important if Apple updated them recently:

  1. Open iTunes (however, if you have updated it, you should first quit and the relaunch it).
  2. Accept new Terms and Conditions (you should read them as well).
  3. Quit iTunes.
  4. Launch iTunes again and check if it helped to fix “We could not complete your purchase” error.

Method 5. Delete Cache associated with Mac App Store

Delete cache associated with Mac App Store

  1. If Mac App Store is opened, quit it.
  2. Open the Finder.
  3. From the Finder menu click Go and choose Go to Folder option.
  4. Enter this address:
    ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.appstore/Cache.db
  5. Click Go.
  6. Move Cache.db file to the Trash.
  7. Open App store and try to purchase the application. Hopefully, the “We could not complete your purchase” error will no longer appear.

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About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Shares the knowledge about computer protection

Alice Woods is a security expert who specializes in cyber threat investigation and analysis. Her mission on Ugetfix - to share the knowledge and help users to protect their computers from malicious programs.

Contact Alice Woods
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