Apple Mac App Store Logo on a blue background

If you have Family Sharing enabled on your Apple ID, you might want to share apps purchased in the Mac App Store among family members. But it’s not immediately obvious how to download another family member’s Mac app purchases. Here’s how to do it.

Family Downloads Are Hidden on a Special Screen

If someone is in your Apple Family Sharing group, you’d think that their purchased apps would automatically be available to download in the Mac App Store whenever you searched for the app. But no, it doesn’t work that way. You’ll have to visit a special screen to get to those apps.

To do so, open the Mac App Store on your Mac and log in with your Apple ID if necessary. Next, click your Apple ID account name in the lower-left corner of the main App Store window.


On the “Account” page, locate a heading that says “Purchased By” and your name (such as “Purchased by Benj”). On Catalina or earlier, it’s in the upper-left corner. On Big Sur or later, you’ll find “Purchased By” near the upper-right corner of the window. This is actually a menu.

Click the “Purchased By” menu and select the name of the person in your family account whose Mac App Store purchases you’d like to download. (If the person doesn’t appear on the list, then you’ll need to either add them to your Family Sharing plan or join theirs.)

After clicking the "Purchased By" menu, select the account you'd like to download apps from.

After selecting the other account, you’ll see a list of all the Mac Apps that they’ve purchased through the App Store. Locate the app that you’d like to install on your Mac and click the download button beside it, which looks like a cloud with a downward-pointing arrow inside it.

The app will download to your Mac and appear in your Applications folder and in Launchpad. Repeat this with any other apps that you’d like to download. You can launch the newly downloaded apps exactly like you’d launch any other app on your Mac. Happy computing!

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Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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