This has got to be one of the most misleading error messages in Mac OS X: Open Software Update, try to update an app, and get the message,”you have updates available for other accounts”. This message does not mean what it says, but I found a way to fix it when it appeared on my iMac!
“You have updates available for other accounts”
Apparently, the Mac App Store uses information about the currently logged in user as well as the disk drive to uniquely identify application ownership. If you have more than one App Store account, you may have to sign out and sign back in to get updates for installed apps. This makes sense, since only one account can be logged into the App Store at once.
This is what Apple probably means when they display this error message, but they apparently also display it in other situations.
For example, if you have more than one copy of an app installed on multiple drives, the App Store will refuse to update the app, not knowing which one it should update. This can be solved by turning off Spotlight indexing on the second drive, which will effectively hide those app copies from the App Store. The same can happen if the Spotlight index is corrupt or missing.
Although this was not the situation I encountered, it is a good bit of information, and set me off on the right path to solve my issue.
Consolidate Your Applications on One Drive
When I migrated my iMac to an SSD, I apparently did not copy over all of the apps in my Applications folder. Since Mac OS X could still see the old drive and all the applications it contained, I continued to use the Mac, blissfully unaware that some of my apps were on the SSD and others were on the hard drive! This was aided and abetted by the fact that I like to use Spotlight to launch applications, and I had allowed it to index both the old and new drives.
Apparently, the permissions or ownership on the old drive were not set to allow me to update applications there; I could only automatically update applications on my new SSD. This is what caused the Mac App Store to display the “you have updates available for other accounts” error message. It’s not at all accurate, so I’m glad Bing was able to help me locate a solution!
I simply opened the Applications folder on the old hard disk drive and dragged each one into the new Applications folder on my SSD. Once everything was moved to the SSD, the Mac App Store was able to correctly update all of the apps!
Even though the Mac App Store was displaying a useless error message, the wisdom of the Internet lead me in the correct direction to find a solution. My situation was slightly different than the one I found, so I’m hoping this post will serve as a breadcrumb for future Mac users frustrated when told “you have updates available for other accounts!”