Broken App Store downloads on Mojave: We could not complete your purchase

This has been happening to a lot of people recently. You open App Store and try to update apps or download new ones. Instead:

And if you have 48 apps to update, you have to click OK 48 times. Argh.

I spent nearly two hours with Apple yesterday trying to resolve.

Instead, I should have just tweeted because when I did Bas Broek had the answer almost immediately:

I had already rebooted, reset NVRAM/PRAM, cleaned out my Application Support for the App Store, and, get this, at the advice of Apple itself, reinstalled freaking Mojave to try to resolve it.

What a waste of time.

I hope this may come up in someone’s Google search to save them time.

  1. Quit App Store
  2. At the terminal: open $TMPDIR/../C/
  3. In Finder: trash everything in that folder including any pending updates / stuck items.
  4. Relaunch App Store
  5. Done

Update: Gwynne Raskind adds: “$TMPDIR/../C is confstr(_CS_DARWIN_USER_CACHE_DIR)”.


  • I pretty much was forced to (groan) update to Catalina Monday.

    – Xcode 11.3, even with the iOS 13.4.1 SDK added, doesn’t recognize the new iPad cursor classes. Xcode 11.4 requires Catalina. Don’t ask me why.
    – I purchased a new 13 inch MBP since they (finally) replaced the butterfly keyboard, and when it arrives next week it’ll be Catalina.

    I upgraded it through System Update and two things happened:

    – System Update continued to say I had one update pending.
    – None of my devices were trusted through Finder.

    Three hours later, after working with 2 people in Apple Customer service, cleared the supposed pending update, but no devices could be trusted. We shared my screen, dug into terminal to clear up the first issue. While I was on hold for a senior service person, I rebooted to my “gold” Mohave backup and determined that iTunes worked well, and did a backup just in case. Because of that, we also reset everything to factory settings. Still, all I could get is “Trust request error 0xE8000003”.

    It was fixed by completely reinstalling Catalina. (Sound familiar?) So Apple gave me a corrupt install, couldn’t figure out what error 0xE8000003 really means, and then? About two hours later iPad OS 13.5 came out! Worse, one of my iPads, at 13.4.1, didn’t see it for another few hours.

    So much for “it just works” anymore.

    • So it’s been a few days, how is it going with the install?