When the App Store says to redownload all your apps

It started well after I had successfully migrated to my new Mac. One morning, there were four updates shown in the App Store. When I clicked to download and install them all, a little later the App Store had given up, and told me they had to be downloaded again from the store.



According to the App Store Help book, this iCloud symbol when used in the App Store app means that item has to be ‘redownloaded’. The strange thing was that each of those four apps was still in my Applications folder, claiming it had just been updated to the latest version. And each seemed to run fine too.

So I clicked on the iCloud icons, and they just sat and spun 3/4 circles forever.


A day or so later, I gave up trying to get any sense out of the App Store, so restarted. A few minutes later, the App Store remained stuck in this undocumented limbo. To my surprise, a couple of days on, another update appeared. I clicked to download and install it, and it too seemed to go the same way.


Then the App Store miraculously changed. Every single app that I had ever purchased, apart from a couple which were still running at the time, now showed the same redownload icon. But every one of those apps still launched and ran perfectly normally from Applications.

Another day or two passed, and the App Store had clearly decided that it wasn’t going to crack me. I hadn’t tried downloading any of the many apps which it told me had to be redownloaded, and they all continued to work. Then suddenly they returned to normal – apart from a few old versions which were genuinely not installed on this Mac.

Over this period, I had no interruptions to my internet connection, and I remained logged into my iCloud account, which functioned quite healthily. I can only conclude that this is just something that Mojave’s App Store app is prone to. So if your apps suddenly need redownloading, have patience, let the App Store work it out of its system. And above all, provided you can still use the apps that you want, don’t panic.


Never think the App Store has finished messing you around. Within a day of writing this article, it has decided that I have to redownload every single app again. I’ll wait a while longer before even bothering to respond.