Can’t use the apps on your Mac (running macOS Mojave) because of a failed update that says “We could not complete your purchase”?

 

How to Fix "We could not complete your purchase" App Store on Mojave

 

Usually, you can just download or purchase an app from the App Store and the whole process is seamless. However, one of the issues a few users have reported been facing since 2017 (yes, it feels like ages ago) is the infamous “We could not complete your purchase” message that pops up.

We’ve experienced this issue a myriad of times over the years even to this day and to our surprise there weren’t any guides online that were updated for the year 2020.

And that is why we decided to create this article. By the end of this guide, you will understand the most effective ways to fix “We could not complete your purchase” in the App Store on Mojave.

Let’s get started!

 

1. Check Network Connectivity.

The first factor which we will discuss and one that is prone to causing the “We could not complete your purchase” issue, is your internet network itself. Having an unstable internet connection is one of the most common reasons the issue happens.

Hence, make sure to check the stability of your internet connection by doing a ping test and bandwidth test. Also, check your DNS settings to make sure that the website domain translation service is working.

If you are having issues with your internet, contact your service provider for assistance.

It’s possible that you may have good internet service but what if the Apple services are down?

To clear that doubt, you can check the Apple System Status page to make sure that servers are up and running (highlighted in green — Available). If services are down (indicated as red or yellow), you may need to wait for it to resume and try the update again.

 

 

 

2. Verify Apple ID in App Store & iTunes.

If you have multiple Apple IDs, this could sometimes cause conflict when you sign into two different accounts.

To fix this, you need to sign in with the same Apple ID in macOS Mojave and App Store & iTunes. If you are not sure, sign-out and sign back in the correct Apple ID.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. First, click on the Apple menu icon, then System Preferences, and then click on iCloud.
  2. Then, click on Sign-out, and depending on your iCloud settings, you may be asked to make a copy or delete iCloud data from your macOS Mojave.

 

How to Fix "We could not complete your purchase" App Store on Mojave

 

  1. Now, click on Sign-in and provide the correct Apple ID and password. Once signed in, all your iCloud data will be updated back to your macOS Mojave.
  2. Next, launch your iTunes app, click on Accounts, and then Sign-out.
  3. Finally, click on Sign-in and provide the same Apple ID and password that you used in iCloud.

But what if you can’t remember your Apple ID password? No worries, you can actually reset your Apple ID password.

Once you have the new one, go back to the steps above to update your Apple ID password. After that, restart your macOS Mojave and you should be able to purchase and download your apps.

 

 

3. Accept iTunes New Terms & Conditions.

The issue that occurred personally for us was that iTunes happened to have updated their Terms and Conditions of usage.

After accepting the new terms and conditions, we were able to continue with the downloading/purchasing of apps without getting the “We could not complete your purchase” error.

To do so yourself, you will need to first force quit all your apps, including iTunes, on your Mac. Then relaunch your iTunes app and accept the new terms and conditions when it prompts.

 

How to Fix "We could not complete your purchase" App Store on Mojave

 

Finally, force quit all apps again and re-launch the App Store. You should be able to do updates on your apps.

 

 

4. Clear App Store Cookies and Cached Files.

Cached files for App Store applications may enhance your user experience but can sometimes cause problems. This is because the cached files can sometimes be outdated and can cause conflicts with the server.

To fix this, you need to clear the cache of the app so it will download the updated files for caching.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Go ahead and force quit your App Store application if it is open.
  2. Then, go to Finder on your macOS Mojave and click on the Go option on the menu bar.
  3. Next, click on the Go to Folder option and it will prompt a message to type in the folder location.
  4. Type in ~/Library/Cookies on the space provided and click on the Go button.

 

How to Fix "We could not complete your purchase" App Store on Mojave

 

  1. Find the com.apple.appstore.plist and Cookies.plist files in the folder, and move them to Trash.
  2. Repeat Steps 1 to 2 and this time, type in ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.appstore/Cache.db and then click the Go button.

 

How to Fix "We could not complete your purchase" App Store on Mojave

 

  1. Now, on the folder, move the Cache.db file to the Trash.
  2. Finally, restart your macOS Mojave and launch the App Store again.

After clearing App Store outdated cached files and cookies, you’ll be able to successfully complete your purchase in the App Store on Mojave.

 

 

5. Clear App Store Temporary Files.

Temporary files are similar to cached files but they serve a different function. These are files being indexed by your macOS for partially completed downloads. This way, the file won’t be used to avoid data corruption when you use your app.

But sometimes, these can cause conflict with the server, too. You need to clear them as well.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Go ahead and force quit your App Store application if it is open.
  2. Then, launch the Terminal app and type in open $TMPDIR/../C/com.apple.appstore/ command and hit Enter on your keyboard.

 

How to Fix "We could not complete your purchase" App Store on Mojave

 

  1. Now, in the folder, move all pending items or temporary files to Trash.
  2. Finally, restart your macOS Mojave and launch the App Store again.

This process can help you get rid of unnecessary files that may be causing this issue.

But if you still see the “We could not complete your purchase” message in the App Store on Mojave, let’s check our next method to find a fix for you.

 

 

6. Upgrade to macOS Catalina.

Now, head’s up, this method may not be applicable to all Mac users. This is because some of you use applications that can only run on a 32-bit processor. You can verify if your Mac is capable of doing so by checking here on this page (‘32-bit app compatibility with macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 and later’) provided by Apple.

Several users have reported that by upgrading to macOS Catalina, the issue got resolved and no longer encountered the error message. Now before you begin to proceed with the upgrade yourself, make sure to back up the files on your Mac running macOS Mojave.

Once after you’ve backed up all of your files, here’s how you can upgrade from macOS Mojave to macOS Catalina:

  1. Go ahead and connect your Mac to the internet, and download the macOS Catalina installer from the App store page.
  2. Next, there may be a chance that it won’t work using your macOS Mojave. Try to use another Mac that does not have the App Store issue to download the file.
  3. On that Mac, click on Get option and confirm the download of the software.
  4. Then, wait for the installer to finish the download and make sure NOT to click the Open option.
  5. On the same Mac, create a bootable installer using a flash disk. You will be using this to upgrade your macOS Mojave.
  6. Now, go back to your macOS Mojave and restart it. Upon restart, hold the Command and R keys until the computer reboots again and the Recovery Mode screen appears.
  7. Then, click on Disk Utility on the Utility screen and click Continue.

 

 

  1. Select the startup disk of your macOS Mojave and click on the Erase option. Provide a label and continue to finalize the deletion process.
  2. You may select AFPS format if supported by your hard drive. But if not, choose Mac OS Extended (journaled) option.

 

 

  1. Then, if applicable, select GUID Partition Map and click Erase to confirm the process.
  2. Connect the macOS Catalina bootable disk you made and restart your computer. Upon restart, hold the Option key to view the startup disk option.
  3. Finally, click the macOS Catalina bootable disk file and click on Continue to proceed with the installation. Follow the remaining instructions and your computer will restart when the installation is done.

This will help you update to macOS Catalina. After this process, you should be able to fix “We could not complete your purchase” in the App Store on the Mojave issue.

 

 

7. Get Support from Apple.

If you are not confident enough to do this technical process, then you can call an Apple Support Representative to do it for you. This way, they can guide you every step of the way on how to do these procedures. Also, with your permission, they can remote into your Mac and do this process on your behalf.

 

 

But if you don’t want to do it over the phone, you can ask the help of Apple-Certified technicians instead. They can help you fix this software issue at your nearest Apple Store. But before you go there, be sure to know the warranty options of your Mac.

 

 

And this wraps up our article for today. We hope this has taught you how to fix the “We could not complete your purchase” App Store issue on your macOS Mojave. If you have questions related to this topic, please feel free to leave a comment below.

 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂