How to Fix ‘Cannot Connect to App Store’ Error When Accessing Mac App Store Updates, OS X Lion 10.7.4

For the last few weeks, I’ve hardly been using the Mac Pro, as I’ve been avoiding coming to sit and work at the desk, favouring working from the laptop in the lounge in the brief periods between renovation work on the house. I needed to do some advanced iPhoto Library manipulations, and therefore found the MacBook to be somewhat underpowered, I came and started using the Mac Pro again. Obviously after a few weeks away, there were some system updates required, as well as other app software and notably Pages, Numbers, Keynote and iPhoto from the Mac App Store. I launched into the App Store and went to the Updates page, but got the message “Cannot Connect to App Store”. I tried several times, restarted, came back to it later in case it was App Store downtime, but to no avail.

After hunting around and trying several suggested remedies, all to no avail, the following process resolved the problem for me.

  1. Close the App Store (make sure to Quit)
  2. Open Keychain Access from the Applications > Utilities folder
  3. Click on System Roots on the upper left panel
  4. Click on Certificates from the lower left panel
  5. Scan through the list of certificates on the right and look for any with a blue “+” symbol overlaid on the icon (these have custom trust settings, which might be wrong).
  6. For some reason just setting them to Use System Defaults doesn’t make the settings apply, so repeat the following steps for all certificates with the blue “+”
  7. Double Click on the certificate to show the info panel
  8. Click on the triangle next to Trust to reveal the Trust settings
  9. Change the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) setting to No Values Specified
  10. Close the info panel, you should be prompted for the administrators password.
  11. Double Clock on the same certificate again
  12. Expand the Trust settings
  13. Change the When using this certificate setting to Use System Defaults
  14. Close the info panel, and again enter the administrators password.
  15. Repeat this for all of the certificates with the blue “+”
  16. When done, restart the App Store and see if you can access Updates.

58 thoughts on “How to Fix ‘Cannot Connect to App Store’ Error When Accessing Mac App Store Updates, OS X Lion 10.7.4

  1. Marcos


    I had the same problem and your tutorial worked wonders on and otherwise unsolvable problem. Thanks a lot!

    How did you think about this particular approach?

    1. Dave Post author

      Marcos – glad it worked for you. I found bits of the solution on other forums and brought it together here in the hope it would help others. Seems to be working for most people!

  2. Vicki Randle

    i found this page while looking for a solution to “cannot connect to App Store” solutions. i tried opening Keychain and looking for “blue crosses” which i didn’t find. Oddly, when i closed Keychain and tried opening the App store again: it worked fine. So, perhaps, just try opening and closing Keychain first before going through the rest of the steps. just saying

    1. Dave Post author

      Vicki, thanks for the feedback. The ‘blue crosses’ indicate certificates with custom trust settings. If you couldn’t see any listed on your system, then all should have been working fine, as you discovered when you tried a second time. Running Keychain on its own without applying any changes would not have made any modifications to your system. Glad its working for you though!

    2. Subrahmanian

      Hey, incidentally, no blue crosses for me either. I think the opening and closing of the key chain access certificates might have automatically refreshed a couple of values, or at least that is the only logical answer that came to me. Anyway, opening and closing worked and now it seems to be running, thanks though.

      I will now go and work on my windows system πŸ˜€

  3. Chris Meyers

    Worked for me too. For me, the cert in question just had a lighter highlight, no cross. It’s unbelievable that something so stupid broke the app store. Breaking it and returning it to normal fixed it. Gotta like that kind of Apple logic. πŸ™‚

  4. Al

    Frustrated with this issue until I read your post. Now I have been able to do all updaters I have missed for the last two months. Thanks…

  5. muffy

    THANK YOU SO MUCH. I don’t understand why it all got messed up in the first place but I’m so so happy this fixed it. ❀❀❀❀❀❀❀❀❀❀❀❀❀❀

  6. Jon

    After hours on the phone with apple and weeks of wasted time with a new unusable iMac 27″, you solved the problem! A profond Thank You!!!!!!!

  7. BC

    Dave, Thanks so much for the TIP… it worked as advertised! I had just spent 3 hours at the Apple Genius Bar with no solution even after doing a “Triage” install of Mountain Lion. Still did not work. When I came home I set out with your solution and VOILA…

    Enjoy you ride / adventures … I once rode all of New Zealand for 5 months. Ready for the EU

  8. Craig

    Well, it certainly worked for me too. Many thank’s – it was driving me mad! Though, I have no idea how you’d ever arrive at this solution in the first place?

  9. Michiel

    Thanks! This worked with my iMac running 10.8.2 I didn’t have to fix all entries, just the Verisign one was enough.

  10. Stace

    I tried your solution, but I had no blue crosses. I checked through all of the certificates but all were on the correct settings. I get the following message when trying to open the application: App Store cannot verify a secure connection with the App Store. Any ideas on what else I could try?

    Cheers πŸ™‚

  11. Will

    Thanks for this guide Dave! I was having a hard time getting this new computer up and running and this did the trick!

    I have Adobe CS4 and a range of other apps that require Java 6 back up and running.

    1. Bill

      Sigh… not for me… but my situation is probably different. 10.8.3 on a mac mini being accessed via Share Screen from my iMac (also 10.8.3). The iMac had updated with no problems, but when I tried to add the same updates to the mac mini — no go. Both are running server.

  12. Emmanuel

    Worked fine for me, it fixed a problem I had for one year … thanks a lot ! I called Apple for assistance but didn’t go further: I owe you 50 euros πŸ˜‰

  13. Dan

    I had this problem after migrating from a Snow Leopard MBP to a new Mountain Lion (10.8.4) MBP. I fixed most of the blue + certificates and then tried again and the problem was gone. Thanks!

    1. Dave Post author

      Ryan, If you have followed the instructions carefully and cannot see the blue plus signs it suggests you have no special permissions to reset. You may have another problem preventing access. Check you followed the instructions carefully to be sure.

      1. Simon

        I have had the App store ‘break’ also since doing the security update 2013-003m tonight. That along with Safari no longer brings up web pages. Have had to use another browser just to get around it.

        ‘App Store cannot verify secure connection with App Store” I likewise have no blue cross custom setting certs.

        Has anyone else had this happen?

        1. nik a hafiz

          i’m on 10.9.4 & today i just can’t get to my app store. tried to follow carefully all the instructions here in but still unable to resolve the problem. any other way ?

  14. Jeff

    After two months of on-off again searches (and endless frustration!)…this solved the issue. If you live anywhere in the Los Angeles area, or ever find yourself here, I want to buy you a beer!!

  15. Till

    That worked like magic – thanks! Apart from AppStore, I had a similar problem with the iTunes Store – that was solved, too.

    1. Dave Post author

      Alban – Thanks! In Italy at the moment so may well be coming through Amsterdam in the spring on the way back to UK. Might take you up on it! Cheers.

  16. Sam

    I have no blue crosses. Mine connects to App Store, but when I try to view account or redeem it asks for my password. I type it in and it says connection failure after a long time. Also my phone won’t connect to App Store on home wifi but will on 3G. This all started after I upgraded to ios7 on phone a week ago.

  17. Jeanne Pitoniak

    After talking to Apple for 2 hrs and finally doing a restore of the OS that they said would work I was totally frustrated when I completed it. Called the next day to say it didn’t work and was told I had to erase everything and do a new install. The computer never worked out of the box but since it was in a school lab I waited to the end of the school year. Even though I had the extended warranty they still gave me a bad time and said it was a software issue. I was going to take it into a shop because I was tired of spending my time on the issue and I saw this post and all the positive responses. Yeah it worked!! The apple guys don’t know anything. Thank you so much for being a genius.

  18. Aadi

    I did everything. set the time and date set the location set the thing u just said and also checked for the serial number every thing is fine but still this app store is not working. please help

  19. Taylor

    This just started happening to me. I try to connect to the appstore and I get a message that says a secure connection cannot be found. When go go past it the app store tries to load but the screen blinds/flashes endlessly and it never loads or prompts for my user name and password. I’ve had my Mac since 2012 and this has never been a problem. I’m on Mac 10.8.5 using Firefox 48.0 2 because I only have 8GB of memory and that is the most I can run. Firefox is no longer supporting Mountain Lion. I tried to fix Certificates and they are all valid.


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