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Mac OS X Catalina will be released in a few days, so how can I block updates to that OS so it doesn't get downloaded and, ideally, I don't even get prompts to upgrade.

I have 32-bit software I intend to keep on using, so I can't update since this version of OS X will support 64-bit apps only.

  • I've never known Apple to force a full version upgrade. They tend to keep pushing reminders at you. I won't be able to test for Catalina as I have no machine that is compatible. – Tetsujin Sep 1 at 8:15
  • From what I've gathered, it seems Mojave does the right thing and does not force upgrades like Windows does. High Sierra doesn't automatically update, either. Relevant information for Mojave here: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/372379/… – OMA Oct 15 at 15:02
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To prevent Apple’s Software Update from reminding you that its time to upgrade to macOS Catalina:

  • Open Terminal (in the Utilities folder in the Applications Folder)
  • Run sudo /usr/sbin/softwareupdate --ignore "macOS Catalina"
  • Enter your login password if asked, hit Enter and you should get confirmation that “macOS Catalina” updates will be ignored.

Later, when you decide you want to allow the updates again, you can use:

sudo /usr/sbin/softwareupdate --reset-ignored

(With the Software Update preferences pane open, you can see the effect straightaway.)

  • 1
    My Mac still shows the update badge in System Preferences overview and "1 update" in the apple menu on the top left. Software Update says "Your Mac is up to date", on the good side :) – Johannes Bittner Oct 29 at 1:41
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System Preferences -> Software updates -> Advanced. You will see options to toggle download and update choices.

It's hard to delay notifications more than a day.

  • If you untick 'Check for Updates' then it also unticks 'Install System Data Files and security updates'. Does this mean there's no way to opt out of OS update reminders, but still get security updates? – Marcus Sep 21 at 12:40
  • As far as I know, you can still download and install security updates by manually checking in the "Updates" tab of the App Store app. BTW, in High Sierra there isn't any "Software updates" icon in the System Preferences window. The icon to use there is the one called just "App Store". – OMA Oct 3 at 8:30
  • @Marcus one could regularly check the security webpage of Apple, sign up for newsletters if any. – ankii Oct 3 at 9:46
  • @OMA Mojave sends all updates via system preferences I think.. Not App Store – ankii Oct 3 at 9:46

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