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Apple Removes 11 Categories From the Mac App Store Categories Tab [Update: They're Back]

Apple has slashed the number of app categories listed in the Mac App Store's Categories tab, an apparently intentional move that may irk Mac users and developers who rely on the tab to aid app discoverability.


The tab now lists just 10 categories, down from the 21 it had listed since the revamped Mac App Store debuted with the launch of macOS Mojave in September. The missing categories include Finance, Lifestyle, Sports, Weather, Medical, Travel, Education, Reference, Entertainment, Health & Fitness, and News. That leaves the following 10 categories that users can still browse individually:
  • Business
  • Developer Tools
  • Games
  • Graphics & Design
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Productivity
  • Social Networking
  • Utilities
  • Video


When a developer submits their app to Apple for inclusion on the Mac App Store, they can assign the app a primary category and a secondary category. The primary category is particularly important for discoverability, as this is the one in which the app appears when users browse the Mac App Store or filter search results. Up until yesterday, it also determined the app's placement among the 21 categories listed in the Categories tab.


It's unclear at present why Apple has decided to hamstring the Categories tab, as the categories that are missing are still being used to classify apps in the Mac App Store, and Apple's documentation for developers on choosing a category for their Mac app hasn't changed. Currently, iPhone and iPad users remain able to browse all 21 iOS app categories individually in the iOS App Store app.

We've reached out to Apple for comment regarding the change to the Mac App Store and will update this article if we learn more.

Update: Apple brought back the 11 missing categories in the Categories tab as of Saturday morning. Why they were removed in the first place remains a mystery.

Related Roundup: macOS Mojave


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

2 weeks ago
Basically the App Store went from useless to unusable. Great. Well done Apple.

But I guess it's thinner, right?
Rating: 27 Votes
2 weeks ago
Apple giveth and Apple taketh away.

...no wait... Nowadays Apple just taketh away.
Rating: 13 Votes
2 weeks ago

Many of the categories are not helpful when searching. Some apps match the category, but often it seems arbitrary.

It's pretty much guaranteed to be arbitrary now. If an app doesn't fit in 1 of 21 categories, it surely isn't going to fit in 10.
Rating: 12 Votes
2 weeks ago
They need a "Suspicious Looking Antivirus Software" category.

It's already their biggest seller!
Rating: 7 Votes
2 weeks ago
This is not good. A detriment to browsing the store.

I’d encourage anyone who agrees to log comments via Apple’s feedback webpage.
Rating: 6 Votes
2 weeks ago
The Mac App Store is so crumby. I am wanted an ID3 editor so went there. There were a load of apps that hasn’t been updated, or just generally looked crap, or by developers that had no website or anything so that I could confirm they were trusted.

So I get on the MacRumors forums and get recommended a fabulous app. The forums here are a far better resource for apps.
Rating: 6 Votes
2 weeks ago

This is not good. A detriment to browsing the store.

I’d encourage anyone who agrees to log comments via Apple’s feedback webpage.

What sort of crazy society are we in where consumers have to run after companies like puppy dogs begging for usable products and services? It should be the companies running after the consumers begging for their patronage.
Rating: 5 Votes
2 weeks ago

So I made an account to be the first comment and somebody already beat me to it - great. Well whatever - i'm gonna switch to microsoft again.

Ya snooze, ya lose.
Rating: 5 Votes
2 weeks ago

It's pretty much guaranteed to be arbitrary now. If an app doesn't fit in 1 of 21 categories, it surely isn't going to fit in 10.

I think the categories should be removed altogether and developers could rather assign some keywords to help searching.

For an example there are a gazillion camera apps with filters, and I find the developers put them not always under photography, but rather “Social Networking”, “Productivity “ or “Graphics and design”.
Rating: 5 Votes
2 weeks ago
As a developer of 'News Explorer', I'm unsure to which remaining category I should reassign my app. Business? Social Networking? There was really nothing wrong or confusing with the removed 'News' category. Apart from that, more developers will reassign their apps to the remaining categories, which will probably result in an overcrowded confusing mess.
Rating: 5 Votes

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