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How to reinstall the Mac App Store in Snow Leopard

The Mac App Store program can be removed from Snow Leopard, but once updated past OS X 10.6.6, reinstalling it may require a little more than simply installing a combo update.

Topher Kessler MacFixIt Editor
Topher, an avid Mac user for the past 15 years, has been a contributing author to MacFixIt since the spring of 2008. One of his passions is troubleshooting Mac problems and making the best use of Macs and Apple hardware at home and in the workplace.
Topher Kessler
2 min read

The Mac App Store in OS X is Apple's new means for delivering software and OS upgrades to Mac users. Some people have removed the store from their systems to keep their OS free of commercial links, but doing so makes upgrading to OS X Lion or later versions of OS X much more cumbersome.

Since the Mac App Store in Snow Leopard was appended to the existing OS infrastructure with the OS X 10.6.6 update, its removal was relatively easy and just required users to remove the App Store program from the Applications folder. Doing so reverts the Apple menu and other links for the Mac App Store to how they were in OS X 10.6.5 or earlier.

While this is a preferred setup for many people, the App Store is almost a requirement for upgrading OS X and for purchasing some software packages, so people who have removed the store may wish to reinstall it on their systems. Unfortunately, since the store was distributed in OS X 10.6.6, people who have removed it and subsequently updated to 10.6.8 may have difficulty reinstalling it.

MacFixIt reader James writes:

[Is there any] way to get the Mac App Store back on my Mac since I deleted it?

While the OS X Combo updater for 10.6.8 should have the Mac App Store and all required components within it, for some people who have removed the store the updater will not reinstall the store. This was the case in James' situation, and getting the store reinstalled required first extracting it from the 10.6.6 update, followed by reapplying the latest 10.6.8 combo updater to ensure all files on the system are at their latest versions.

To reinstall the Mac App Store for a Snow Leopard system on which it has been removed, you can perform the following steps:

  1. Download the OS X 10.6.6 Combo updater and mount the disk image
  2. Download Pacifist from CharlesSoft.
  3. Open Pacifist (optionally register if you find the program useful) and then open the 10.6.6 combo installation package
  4. Go to the "Contents of MacOSXUpdate10.6.6.pkg > Applications" folder and select the "App Store.app" file.
  5. Click "Install" in the Pacifist toolbar and choose to install with administrator privileges (provide your password when prompted).

When this is done, download and install the OS X 10.6.8 Combo updater, followed by restarting the system, and your App Store installation should now work properly.

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