PopClip is leaving the Mac App Store

Quick summary

  • As of today, PopClip is no longer available for new customers to buy on the Mac App Store.

  • The last released version (v2023.9) is still accessiible to all Mac App Store customers in the Purchased section of their Mac App Store account.

  • I will release the next PopClip update, version 2024.3, later today. This version will be available as a download from the PopClip website. Mac App Store customers wishing to upgrade should simply download the new update from the PopClip website and place it in the /Applications folder, replacing their MAS edition. It will detect your store purchase if you previously launched the MAS edition at least once on any Mac signed into the same iCloud account. See full migration instructions.

  • New customers can buy PopClip from my website.

  • PopClip also remains proudly on Setapp, and today’s update will go live there too.

  • Important note: this is not the end of PopClip! This is only about its availability on the Mac App Store.

  • Also, this is not an Apple-bashing post. I’m actually very grateful for the opportunites, access and marketing support Mac App Store has given me over many years. This app would not exist today without the the store.

Standalone edition recognizing your Mac App Store purchase after migrating — see instructions

The story

It’s been a good run.

But a day I long expected has finally come, and PopClip’s almost 13-year journey on the Mac App Store has come to an end.

The reason? I can’t update PopClip with new features on the Mac App Store any more. This is due to Apple’s sandboxing policy.

To explain that, we have to go back in time a bit.

Deeper history

In 2011, Apple introduced App Sandboxing technology in macOS (then called OS X). Sandboxing is a technology that, among other things, isolates apps totally from each other so that one app cannot control or access information in another one.

As you might imagine, being isolated from all other apps would be a problem for PopClip. For it to work, it has to access the text you select in other apps. Plus, many of the actions you perform in PopClip need to control other apps too. For this reason, sandboxing PopClip was, and still is, impossible.

Back in March 2012, Apple announced that all new submissions to the Mac App Store after June 1 2012 had to be sandboxed. But they allowed apps that were already on the store to stay, and said they would allow bug fix updates.

At the time, there was quite a lot of fuss in the tech press and among developers about this sandboxing policy, and some apps did leave the store.

PopClip was in its infancy back then and, not wanting to make any drastic moves, I decided to keep PopClip on the store and see how it went. I was also working on some other apps at that time too.

Since June 2012 I have submitted many PopClip updates to the store. Initially, most were strictly just bug fixes. At some point, I became a little bolder and started to include some new features. And until now, all have been accepted as updates by App Review.

However, all this time, I have been waiting for the day that App Review would say “oi, that’s not a bug fix!”.

Today that day has come.

Ripping off the band-aid

I don’t know if it’s a change in policy, or if I just happened to get a more fastidious reviewer than usual, but — for the first time ever — my most recent update submission was rejected on the grounds that this version of the app “does not only address bug fixes and new OS feature adoption” (the latter of which I hadn’t realised was allowed, and may be why previous feature updates had been accepted – think light/dark mode for example), so it must implement sandboxing.

The review team did also clarify that if I removed new features from the update, it would be accepted without sandboxing.

However, after a sleepless night, I have made the decision that the only way forward is for PopClip move on without the App Store.

Whilst I could have tried to argue or appeal, or try to get round it somehow, I know the sandboxing policy will always stay hanging over PopClip’s head.

The way I see it my options are as follows:

  1. Keep everything as it is but only do bug fix updates in future, with no new features, ever.

  2. A sort of half-way-house where PopClip gets new features outside the store but the store version only gets bug fixes.

  3. Take deep breaths, leave the store and let PopClip fly.

There’s really only one choice here.

I’m very passionate about this app. If I can’t pour my energy into new features and improvements, that passion will have no outlet. Staying on the App Store without the possibilty of meaningful updates would mean the death of PopClip.

So I have made a quick decision. (It’s the spring equinox today, a time for coming out of one’s shell.)

This morning, with a nervous hand, I removed PopClip from sale in on the App Store in all territories.

(Existing users will still find PopClip 2023.9 in the Purchased section of your MAS account. And there is a simple migration path to move to the Standalone edition.)

The future

In many ways very little will change. Last year, I set up my own store to sell license keys from this website and many customers are already buying it that way.

Furthermore, thousands of users also use PopClip monthly on the incredible Setapp subscription service. This has given me a steady additional income, over and above regular app sales, and has helped made today’s unthinkable decision thinkable.

I’m hoping that the loss in App Store sales will be made up for in licence key purchases; but I do expect sales to take a net hit from this.

If you’ve read this far, thank you. I’m sorry to the Mac App Store customers who will be inconvenienced by having to move to the standalone download; I know a lot of you prefer to get your apps from the Mac App Store and will miss the convenience of the store.

But be assured that PopClip outside the Mac App Store is exactly the same app as PopClip inside the Mac App Store. I’ll do my best to make the transition as easy and seamless as possible.

Thanks also to the App Store team, especially the editorial team who selected PopClip on more than one occasion as a featured app, and added spotlight articles to promote PopClip. Apple definitely showed PopClip some love. I regret that PopClip and the App Store have parted ways, but this is really the only sensible decision I could make.

In truth, every day since 2012 has felt like borrowed time for PopClip on the store. It actually lasted a lot longer there than I ever expected.

Thanks to the App Store editorial team for all their support.

Thanks for all the ratings and the kind reviews … I will miss those.


Thanks for this information @nick, as I mentioned on Twitter, it is a shame about the restrictions you have to navigate around to get an app on the Mac App Store, but I am sure that being on SetApp and selling from your own website will mean that many more people will discover the beauty and functionality of your amazing app.
Question: If I install the SetApp version, will PopClip recognise all my extensions?


Thanks Craig @ccp for the kind words. Yes both the Standlone edition and Setapp edition will recognise your extensions. But if moving to Setapp, you should wait about one hour from the moment of this post, till the 2024.3 version is out. It has improvements to seamlessly detect your existing extensions and settings.

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@nick, I’ve lost track of the number of different ways I’ve bought PopClip over the years, and I signed up for Setapp last year (or the year before?) so you and other devs I always support could get ongoing income from me. Wherever you release PopClip, I’ll buy it! Repeatedly! :star_struck:
Sorry to hear you’ll probably take a hit on revenue and exposure, but in the long run it’s the App Store’s loss and everyone else’s gain. Looking forward to what comes next!


Thanks for the info @nick. I leave it a bit and then give it a try :wink:

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Let us all spread the word about PopClip to keep the revenue coming from other sources then.

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I’d paid for PopClip on the Mac App Store. Seeing your message above, I installed the Setapp version and the migration was indeed absolutely seamless.

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I’m quite astonished about the change. Funny enough I purchased a new Mac today and stumbled across the new situation with popclip. However after reading your article about the change I understand your point and will support your work. Popclip is one of the best tools I have just in years on every day basis. Love it.


I am astonished too! Still processing it. Thank you for the encouraging comments.

Nick, as one of the many users of PopClip, THANK YOU for creating such a useful and flexible tool. I bought PopClip through the App Store so long ago, I can’t recall what brought it to my attention. (but then, at 70, I can’t recall a lot of things…)

Can I help contribute to your new endeavor by purchasing a stand-alone license to replace the Mac App Store license? Is this a simple as deleting the current app and purchasing from your store?



You are, of course, most welcome to do that. Thank you. Yes, it’s a simple as delete MAS version and download Standalone version.

If you then buy a shiny new license key from Buy PopClip, you can install that and it will supersede the MAS carry-over.


Done! Thank you, and I hope that PopClip continues to flourish.

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Thank you for the info @nick. Migration to the setapp version it is then :slight_smile:

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Done. I have had 11 years, so seems about time to contribute.

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Huge mistake on Apple’s part @nick

Your software is legendary - and frankly should have been bought by Apple to make a standard part of MacOS long ago

For their terms to turn away such a valued developer as yourself is clearly a major error by Apple.


Thank you so much for keep pouring your efforts into PopClip development and improvement. Since the day I got my first Mac (someday almost 10 year ago), PopClip is my daily must-have and I cannot do anythings in front of my Mac without it. Thank you again! Salute!


I’ve been a huge PopClip fan for many years now. Having to deal with the Mac App Store myself on a regular basis I’m amazed you avoided this kerfuffle for 12 years! I’ve taken the opportunity to re-up my subscription since my original Mac App Store purchase was so long ago as to no longer count.

Here’s to another 12 years of PopClip!

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Hello Nick,

Your tool is fabulous: it’s so great that you should sell it for a million $ to Apple!

I had the opportunity to talk with you 2 years ago and it was great: you did a development just for me!

I bought the license on the MAS and I was able to convert it, but I’m going to buy another one!

It’s a shame that you have to leave MAS, but I wish you the best: you deserve it.

Bravo again. See you soon.

Luc from France.

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