Looking for Those ‘Free’ iWork and iLife apps? Start Here

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Having trouble finding those supposedly free version of Apple's updated iWork and iLife apps?

Think you should get iLife and iWork for free? You're probably right.Think you should get iLife and iWork for free? You're probably right.

Apple's been uncharacteristically obtuse on this, at times making it sound like only purchasers of new Macs or iOS devices get the goods. But for most of us, those apps really are free.

Here's the scoop:

1) If you buy a new Mac or iOS device, you get the iLife and iWork apps for free.

2) If you already own the iLife and/or iWork apps and you're running iOS 7/Mavericks, you get the newest versions for free.

In other words, the only people who have to pay for iLife or iWork are those who didn't buy either a new Mac or older versions of the apps or (for the Mac versions) those who didn't upgrade to Mavericks (which as you know, is also free.)

There were some glitches in the Mac App Store that resulted in iLife and iWork apps that weren't purchased through the App Store to go unrecognized as being eligible for free upgrades. In those cases, the apps listed the normal price for each app -- US$14.99 and $19.99 respectively. Apple says this glitch has been fixed now, and I can confirm that all the apps show up as free for me. (I bought iLife and iWork on disc.)

Here's the relevant part of Apple's press release:

iWork and iLife for Mac come free with every new Mac purchase. Existing users running Mavericks can update their apps for free from the Mac App Store℠. iWork and iLife for iOS are available for free from the App Store℠ for any new device running iOS 7, and are also available as free updates for existing users. GarageBand for Mac and iOS are free for all OS X Mavericks and iOS 7 users. Additional GarageBand instruments and sounds are available for a one-time in-app purchase of $4.99 for each platform.

Some Observers are reporting workarounds that involve clean installs of Mavericks and other drastic measures, but it looks like patience is the best approach. How did your upgrade go? Let us know in the comments.

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Spider Mann

Mentioned this on another article:

Repair permissions after installing Mavericks.

It “magically” fixes the non-recognization issue for the MAS/SU and the iLife/iWork Suites. They move from Buy to Update.


I updated mine through the App Store and the store said that they were installed, but my Applications on the Dock were still the old versions. Today while looking in my Applications Folder, I saw the new Icons and Apps.
The old versions were not replaced. Is this a new policy?


Were your old apps not installed using the App Store?  If not maybe that’s why they weren’t removed.

Neil Anderson

Here’s a link to iWork and iLife zip files:



Is it just me, or does the icon for Numbers looks like it’s flipping us the bird?

Chuck La Tournous

@ Neil Anderson: The download links on the page you reference are press images of the apps, not the apps themselves. As far as I know, the only way to get them is through the Mac App Store.

Lee Dronick

Good eye there Aftermac. I think that the bird is directed at Excel.


Don’t forget to read reviews on things that are missing from the new versions.

For me, having the AppleScript functionality killed is a show stopper (although it might drive me to use SQLite instead of Numbers for some scripts).


JustCause: exactly. I’m starting to think that this is not a bug but a way to coax people into an upgrading frenzy qithout checking the “new” funcionalities well.

I’m not sure I like the new Pages… not at all.


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