How to cancel an App Store download on macOS

Today we’re going to discover how to cancel an App Store download on macOS. You can also read how to pause it, if you so desire.

If you recall, you needed to do that from Launchpad. Cancelling a download, however, is completely different because, again, why not. First up, open the Finder app and, under Favorites, click Applications. This folder contains all of your installed apps.

The Applications folder lists all of your installed apps. Notice the small "X" on the top left corner of downloading (and paused) apps.
The Applications folder lists all of your installed apps. Notice the small “X” on the top left corner of downloading (and paused) apps.

Notice the small X on the top left corner of the OS X El Capitan app? You can click on it to cancel the current download. All files associated with it will be erased. If you’ll ever want to download it again, you’ll have to start from the very beginning!

As a closing note, you should never move a downloading app to the trash and moving it back out. Doing so will prevent you from canceling the download again (but you can still pause it). I encountered this bug in version 10.11 El Capitan. I posted a question on Apple Support Communities and will update this post if anyone knows a workaround or solution for this.

About Andrea Luciano Damico 137 Articles
Andrea Luciano Damico is a freelance translator from Italy. Among his interests are linguistics, technology, video games, and generally being a chill guy. He runs Let's Translate.it and Tech4Freelancers.net.