How can I disable updates of a particular app (in this case: iMovie) in the Mac App Store? The method documented here (right click on update, select Hide Update) no longer works.

I have app Store version 2.2.1 (584), macOS Sierra version 10.12.6 (16G29).

  • Try holding various modifier keys (e.g., Command) while right-clicking. In the past. they've hid stuff that way. – Zenexer Jan 6 '19 at 9:06

In a few cases where the code signing allows, you can prevent this check.

  • In finder, right click each app and show package contents.
  • Locate a folder named _MASReceipt and delete it.

This removes the receipt that tells the App Store to manage the app. I would do a backup of all apps before you alter them in case you want them back without downloading the update you seek to avoid.

In many cases, this wrecks the app since it’s now been tampered with - How do I avoid update checks for third party software (cobook), dont want to "update" by mistake

The long term answer is to have the developer code sign their app in a manner that lets you can opt out of upgrades. Once you convince them why this is good, they will have the option to fix whatever issues you have with patching the app or allow their customers to control this.


I was able to disable auto-updates by moving the app from the shared applications folder (/Applications) to my user-specific applications folder (/Users/$(whoami)/Applications). Apparently checks for updates aren't applied there, which sorta makes sense. I have yet to find relevant documentation on this though.

  • This didn't work for me on Catalina: the App Store is still showing a pending update and a badge notification after the move. – DKroot Mar 15 at 19:27

You can write protect the application via Terminal like so:

sudo chflags -R schg /Applications/Some.app

With this flag the app cannot even be modified by root. The AppStore will still attempt to update the application but lacks the permission to do so, resulting in the update hanging in the Updates section eternally. Furthermore, on every update attempt the AppStore will quit the app. So it might get annoying. In some cases this might still be the better option since updating an app can render it useless, as more and more developers make previously bought applications free and want you to subscribe for the features you already bought.

  • I'm more interested in getting the App Store to stop pestering me than I am in absolutely preventing updates (since I can always restore the old version from backup), so this cure is worse than the disease. – cpcallen Feb 10 '20 at 12:57

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