Mac Appstore exit code: 173 issues

I just love an IT issue where I’m almost the only one that has it, means no fix, and a small group of people tearing hair out (thankfully I have none). Well my issue c/o the new shiny Mac App Store is purchased apps dieing with nothing more than an ‘exit code: 173’ logged, which seems to be part of the DRM / copy protection process. Shame is they’re legitimate purchases!

Anyway, if you are seeing issues where your purchases from the Mac App Store seem to silently fail to run even though they installed quite happily, then have a look in the Console Log, you may see a line similar to; (your-broken-app-name): Exited with exit code: 173

… in which case, congratulations, same boat as me πŸ™ More specifically my case is all free apps work fine, put any purchased apps will only install on my Macbook Pro, all (well 3 to date) paid for apps fail with the same error on the office iMac.

There’s a thread titled All app store apps exit on startup with code 173 over on the Apple Forums, which hopefully will end up with a solution, and if nothing else I offer this thread as a means of bumping the link up google

Been through pretty much every known Mac troubleshooting step, including safe mode and a re-install, no joy. The only resolution was a full wipe and clean install, worked as expected. So no nearer a proper resolution πŸ™

Andy Flisher is a Software Developer based in the North East of England specialising in cross platform development. Mobile Development experience includes Windows Phone, Android, and iPhone Apps. Desktop Software Development includes bespoke Windows, Linux, and Mac Applications. Web Development Skills include PHP, Perl, Python, ASP (Classic and .NET) – Andy Flisher on Google+


  1. Anonymous

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    same too. First time buying an app and it doesn’t run. πŸ™ Any new ideas?



      None am afraid, am glad to report it hasn’t raised it’s head again since the completely clean install, but then that shouldn’t have been necessary really. And obviously as it hasn’t recurred I can’t investigate further πŸ™


    I’ve just encountered this problem, but I think I’ve found a workaround:In the application bundle, there is a directory named Contents, which in turn contains one named _MASReceipt. In it, there is a file named receipt, which by default has the permissions 600. I changed them to 644 (for non-UNIX users: I changed the permissions so that users who are not root can read the file too), and now the application is working.

    Strangely, other apps also have the permissions set to 600 but work without trouble (including paid ones)…

    It would be interesting if this works for other people too…


      Thanks for this, I can’t remember whether I tried exactly that or not, I remember repairing permissions, and also copying receipts in and out (trying to get it force verify me, which I think it’s supposed to do) of the bundle. *if* it raises it’s head again will try, failing that hopefully google finds this and solves it for someone else – Thanks again


    Many thanks for the chmod hint. It actually worked for me! πŸ™‚


    Worked for me as well, thank you very much!!


    If you have a case-sensitive file system you just need to change the name of the receipt file in your _MASReceipt directory to Receipt.
    here’s an example in terminal:

    (open terminal)

    cd /Applications/Name of

    sudo mv receipt Receipt

    (enter your system password)

    et voila…

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