As per the title. If I have a Mac running Sierra, what can/should I do if I don’t want to be upgraded to High Sierra?

I’ve already unchecked “Install macOS updates” in System Preferences:

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but I’m wondering if there’s anything else I should be doing. (Or can do, because I’m not sure I trust that checkbox.)


This weekend, one of my Macs got unexpectedly upgraded from Sierra to High Sierra, but I don’t remember asking for the upgrade. (I say “upgraded”, what I mean is “freeze, crash, then reboot twice”. Is this a new installation procedure?) A bunch of stuff is now broken, yay.

I’m downgrading to a backup taken when my Mac was on Sierra. When I’m back up, I want to ensure I don’t get another unwanted upgrade.

Normally I would just follow a policy of “don’t hit the upgrade button”, but this weekend’s experience suggests that’s no longer enough. :-/

2 Answers 2


I'm not aware that anything has changed in terms of macOS upgrades.

The only Mac I have with macOS High Sierra actually shipped with it, while all the others regularly inform me of the upgrade, but none have actually been upgraded to macOS High Sierra. The ones that support macOS High Sierra but haven't upgraded are either running El Capitan 10.11.6 or Sierra 10.12.6.

So, based on your settings, you should be fine.


Apple has decided to automatically download the macOS High Sierra installer onto Macs running El Capitan or Sierra, a support document states the following:

If you’re using OS X El Capitan v10.11.5 or later, High Sierra conveniently downloads in the background, making it even easier to upgrade your Mac. When the download has completed, you receive a notification indicating that High Sierra is ready to be installed. Click Install in the notification to get started.

If you want to install High Sierra later, just dismiss the notification. Install it at any time by opening the file named Install macOS High Sierra from your Applications folder, Launchpad, or Spotlight. Or delete the installer by dragging it to the Trash. You can always get it again from the App Store.

How to Prevent macOS High Sierra from Automatically Downloading

  • Interesting. It may be worth you adding a link to the support document you're quoting from. I've just checked all of my Macs and yes, the ones with macOS Sierra installed have downloaded the macOS High Sierra installer, although of course they haven't actually installed it. However, all of my El Capitan (10.11.6) Macs have not downloaded the macOS High Sierra installer. This is despite them all having the same App Store settings in System Preferences as the other Macs.
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Dec 3, 2017 at 12:48
  • so has been installed on ex El Capitan? nothing has changed in the installation procedure, and since there is no magic while human error can not be that you have pressed inadvertently updates?
    – claudio
    Commented Dec 3, 2017 at 13:35
  • Well, what I’m saying is that you’re correct, it does seem that macOS High Sierra is automatically downloading. However, in my case, it seems to only be downloading on Macs that have macOS Sierra installed, not on Macs that have El Capitan installed. All Macs have the same settings, so the difference in behaviour is interesting to me. Regardless, we’re both in agreement that the OP’s settings should be enough to ensure that macOS High Sierra isn’t automatically installed on their machine. :)
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Dec 3, 2017 at 13:43

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