Boom! Apple broke App Store accounts for many users with multiple accounts recently. On checking for updates and clicking the helpful ‘Download All Free Updates’ button, iTunes rather unhelpfully states: ‘You can not update this software since you have not owned the major version of this software’. Whether this is a bug (which we hope) or a change in App Store policy is unknown at this time. However, since writing about the subject on my own blog and Twitter, it’s clear the issue is widespread, and Apple support has yet to supply any kind of insight regarding a fix.
Previously, App Store updates for users/Macs with multiple accounts were awkward in UI terms but at least logical. You signed into an account, selected Applications, checked for updates and then downloaded what was available. If you noticed a number next to Applications after apps had been updated, that meant updates were available in another account. So you’d sign into that one as well and repeat the process.
Now, all available updates for all accounts are displayed at once, but iTunes isn’t intelligent enough to figure out which apps belong to the active account. Therefore, you try to update everything, iTunes realises some apps it’s showing are tied to a different account, and it throws up the appallingly clumsy dialog error ‘You can not update this software since you have not owned the major version of this software’.
At present, the only solution is to click on every single Get Update link individually, dismiss the dialog if it appears, and when you’ve gone through every app, sign into other accounts and repeat the process.
Perhaps Apple’s cracking down on people with multiple accounts in different countries (although most people I know who do this keep a US account for promo codes, since Apple’s still inexplicably restricting them to the US store). That said, I’ve had emails from people stating that they get the same error with multiple accounts from the same store on a single machine. Therefore, this is most likely a pretty big bug that needs squashing, but if so that’s only indicative of how one of Apple’s most important pieces of software needs some serious TLC, as Pete noted on the 4th.
I currently have a (second-line) support call logged with Apple on this, and will update if I get a response. If you’re also having this issue, please post in the comments.