In rare cases, you might experience problems installing apps in Setapp. The installation fails and the error message appears:
<appName> could not be installed due to a possible user permissions error.
Please make sure you resolve any related issues and try again.
The message suggests that you don’t have permission to access the
/Applications/Setapp folder, to which Setapp is trying to install apps. Most likely, your user account isn’t associated with the needed access privileges. This usually happens after migrating to a new Mac, restoring from a backup copy, or creating a new user account on a Mac (if Setapp has been previously used by another account on this computer).
To fix the problem, make sure your user account has the Read & Write permission to access the Setapp folder. Follow these steps:
- Go to the Applications folder: open Finder and choose Go > Applications.
- Select the Setapp folder, then choose File > Get Info.
❗Please make sure you've selected the Setapp folder, not the Setapp application file.
- If the information in Sharing & Permissions (at the bottom of the Info window) isn’t visible, click the disclosure triangle.
- If your user account is not listed in the Name column, click the Add button below the list, select your account, then click Select.
- Click your user account in the Name column, then choose Read & Write privilege setting from the pop-up menu.
For detailed instructions, see “Change permissions for files, folders, or disks on Mac” (macOS User Guide).
As an alternative fix, you can move the Setapp folder from the Applications directory to Bin, then reinstall your Setapp apps.
This creates a new Setapp folder with correct access privileges. Deleting the Setapp folder doesn’t affect your user data: the newly installed apps will use the existing preferences that remain intact — until you decide to uninstall the apps.
For more details, see “How do I quickly install my Setapp apps on another Mac?”