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Get started with the Mac App Store – An OSX beginner’s guide

Learn how to use the Mac App Store to download and install apps on your OS X Lion or Mountain Lion Mac with our simple, step-by-step guide.

OSX Tutorial - Mac App Store - Sidebar
OSX Tutorial - Mac App Store - Main
When it launched at the start of last year, the Mac App Store offered Mac users an entirely new way to browse and download apps that had never been seen before.
There was widespread shock at Apple’s decision to do this as it was based on the success of the iPhone App Store and not guaranteed to work on the Mac platform. As has been the case for many a year now, Apple was right and the Mac App Store became an instant success.

Now, over a year later, a lot of people take the Store for granted, while others don’t even know it exists and have never even opened it up. If this is you, you’re missing out on a huge amount of incredible content. In this tutorial we’ll start you at the basic level. If you have an Apple ID, which you would use to buy iPhone and iPad apps as well as songs and movies in the iTunes Store, you can use that to log in. If not, we’ll show you where you need to go to set one up.

OSX Tutorial - Mac App Store - Step-by-Step

OSX Tutorial - Mac App Store - Step 1

Step 1: Apple ID

Open the Mac App Store, look at the Quick Links bar on the right. Click Sign In. Input your Apple ID and password here, or create one if you don’t have one.

OSX Tutorial - Mac App Store - Step 2

Step 2: Categories

Below the Sign In button you will see a drop-down box that says All Categories. Click it and you can quickly navigate between categories in the Store.

OSX Tutorial - Mac App Store - Step 3

Step 3: Chart topping

Along the top of the Store are five options. The second one is Top Charts; select this and you can see what is being downloaded the most.

OSX Tutorial - Mac App Store - Step 4

Step 4: Well paid

The opening page of the Top Charts section shows you the most downloaded apps. When you find an app you’re interested in, click its name or icon.

OSX Tutorial - Mac App Store - Step 5

Step 5: App details

Clicking on an app’s name will take you to its page. You can read a description here. Click More to reveal all the information on the app.

OSX Tutorial - Mac App Store - Step 6

Step 6: Screenshots

Scroll down and you can flick through screenshots of the app, just like on the iOS App Store. This gives you a better idea of how the app will work.

OSX Tutorial - Mac App Store - Step 7

Step 7: Tough crowd

Move further down and you can read reviews from other users. These offer brilliant and real opinions on the app, away from the marketing blurb.

OSX Tutorial - Mac App Store - Step 8

Step 8: Ready to buy

If you want the app, at the top of the page click the Buy App button. It will turn green, click it again, and input your Apple ID and password.

OSX Tutorial - Mac App Store - Step 9

Step 9: Installed

Once you’ve clicked Buy App, the Mac’s Launchpad will open automatically and your app will appear on the grid. You can now click it to launch it.

(Click on the image below too zoom in and view the annotations)

OSX Tutorial - Mac App Store - Annotated