macOS Tips & Tricks

How to use the Mac App Store

The Mac App Store is a great place to find some great Mac Apps, we can show you how to install the App Store as well as how to navigate through the purchase process.

For most of us hardcore Apple fans the launch of the Mac App Store was something we were highly anticipating but lets face it some of the more generic Apple users still don’t even know it exists. So the first thing we will go over is where can you get the App Store if it’s currently not installed on your Mac.

The Mac App Store was released as part of the Mac OS X 10.6.6 System Update. This update is only available to those currently running Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) if you are running anything lower (10.5 or 10.4 for example) then you will need to upgrade to Snow Leopard first. You can purchase Snow Leopard from, Best Buy or even Amazon for $29.99.  Once you have Snow Leopard go ahead and run the software updates to get the 10.6.6 update. Learn how to run software updates on your Mac by visiting our tutorial here.

Don’t know which version of Mac OS X your using? Go ahead and navigate to the upper left hand corner of your screen and click on the Apple icon and then select ‘About This Mac’. This will show you exactly which version of Mac OS X you are using.

Once you have the update installed you will instantly see a new icon on your Mac’s dock next to the Finder icon. Go ahead and click on this icon and open up the brand new Mac App Store.

In order to make any purchases within the Mac App Store you will need to have a Apple ID. This is the same ID that Apple uses for their iTunes accounts so if you currently have an iTunes account use your information from that to login to the App Store, otherwise you will need to register a new account. Sadly, this is even the case for downloading any of the free apps from the store as well.

Pick the app you wish to purchase and click on the blue button which will either say a price or ‘Free’ depending on which type of application you decided on. The App Store will ask you to confirm the purchase and once this has occurred it will be downloaded to your computer. The icon will appear on your dock immediately after the purchase and will display a download bar to show its current status. You can see an example of this below.

Of course you don’t have to keep every app on your dock, check out our tutorial on how to remove and add app’s to the dock!

Here are some App’s we suggest:

  • FaceTime – Make video calls from your Mac to an iPhone 4, iPod Touch, or another Mac. ($0.99)
  • Twitter – A Mac friendly twitter client to manage and submit your tweets! (Free)
  • Victory March – action WW2 themed sideway runner game, extremely fun and addictive! ($1.99)
  • Coda – The ultimate one-window web development app for Mac, Text editing, FTP transfer, SVN, CSS, SSH, etc ($99.00)
  • Angry Birds – If you haven’t played Angry Birds your missing out, undeniably one of the greatest games ever!

As more app’s get released to the store we will continue to review them and post our opinions here on Tech Heavy, so be sure to keep checking back!

About the author


Kevin is the Founder and Senior Editor of Tech Heavy. When he isn't writing about the latest tech tools he spends his days working in an IT department in Dubuque, IA. @kevincray