Apple App Store: Grayed Out Apple ID Explained

    We’ve all seen it. You try to update some software on a Mac and BAM you have a pre-populated Apple ID in the login prompt. Because it is grayed out you cannot remove it.

    But why?

    It’s because you are trying to update software that was downloaded using another Apple ID. Which Apple ID? The grayed out Apple ID. That app is tied to that account.

    Operating System updates do not require an Apple ID. EVER. (Operating System upgrades do require one.) It may seem like this is not the case but really what you are doing is hitting the “Update All” button in the App Store. What does that “Update All” button do? Well your machine then attempts to update everything including any and all purchased apps. If there is anything attained from the App Store (aside from system updates) then that app is tied to that Apple ID, hence the requirement to sign in as that account to perform a measly update.

    We can get rid of this however you must note that by doing the following you WILL NOT ATTAIN OWNERSHIP of these apps. If you remove the Apple ID and enter your Apple ID then one of two things will happen. Situation A: you do not own that app (it is not listed as a purchase on your Apple account). The App Store yells at you about it. Situation B: you do own it and the App store allows you to download the latest version in full. Simple as that. You can always download/update apps that are listed under the account you are signed into the App Store with, because, well you know. They’re yours. They are in your account.

    Removing the grayed out Apple ID email is as simple as following these quick few steps. Please note that it is impossible to test this with every app in the App Store but I haven’t seen anything to say that this isn’t the way it works for all apps.

    1. Go to the app listed in the App Store as needing an update (usually in the /Applications folder).
    2. Right click the app then click “Show Package Contents”.
    3. Go into the “Contents” folder, then into the “_MASReceipt” folder.
    4. Delete the “receipt” file (you may need to enter a local administrator username and password).
    5. Please note that the app will still work as intended.

    That’s it. This is really only useful in if the app you need updated is already in your Apple ID account. But even then deleting the app, logging into your Apple account, finding it in the App Store, and downloading it accomplishes the same thing.

    Dan is our central services or ‘shared services’ tech. That means he’s the guy that builds the tools we all use! From our remote control systems to our deployment engines,...

    Continue reading

    Subscribe to Valiant's Monthly Email Digest

    Valiant's monthly email digest is filled with original content written by our staff, tech news, and business insights.