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 '19 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 '19 at 15:02

You can not block major updates after 10.15.5

Before that update (and similar Summer 2020 updates to older OS - namely the 2020-03 update for High Sierra and Mojave, this command no longer works), you can ask Apple’s Software Update to ignore specific available upgrades 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.)

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  • 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 '19 at 1:41
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    To get rid of the update badge, too, enter defaults delete com.apple.preferences.softwareupdate LatestMajorOSSeenByUserBundleIdentifier, then go to Software Update prefs to search again for updates. After that, both badge and menu indicator should be gone. – not2savvy Dec 30 '19 at 11:10
  • thanks it work for me.. and also thank to @not2savvy ! – Jawaad Jan 27 at 16:46
  • 3
    Another option to get rid of the "1 update": defaults write com.apple.systempreferences AttentionPrefBundleIDs 0;killall Dock. Found here: macworld.com/article/3447396/… – totaam Feb 19 at 9:40
  • Unfortunately, neither Roughblah's answer nor not2savvy's comment work for me, but @totaam's comment does. Thank you! – OMA Jul 4 at 18:32

if your OS version is "mojave 10.14.6", you will get the displays:

Ignoring software updates is deprecated.

The ability to ignore individual updates will be removed in a future release of macOS.

And I has fixed it by run

defaults delete com.apple.preferences.softwareupdate LatestMajorOSSeenByUserBundleIdentifier
softwareupdate --list

(Taken from https://tinyapps.org/blog/202005070700_remove_catalina_notification_badge.html)

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  • Didn't "fix it" for me. Once I went into Software Update and checked for updates, the notification was back. – Victor Sergienko Jun 16 at 18:48
  • The only working fix for me in Mojave 10.14.6 seems to be totaam's comment in the above post. – OMA Jul 4 at 18:35

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.

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  • 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 '19 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 '19 at 8:30
  • @Marcus one could regularly check the security webpage of Apple, sign up for newsletters if any. – anki Oct 3 '19 at 9:46
  • @OMA Mojave sends all updates via system preferences I think.. Not App Store – anki Oct 3 '19 at 9:46

FYI - after installing the late May 2020 Security Update for 10.14.6, Catalina showed up again in Software Update, and redoing the previous fix makes no difference. In fact, it throws up this message:

"Ignoring software updates is deprecated. The ability to ignore individual updates will be removed in a future release of macOS."

It would appear that this change has already taken effect.

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Not sure if this works in macOS Catalina, but in Mojave you can uncheck Install macOS updates in System Preferences > Software Update > Advanced.

With this method you'll still be notified that macOS wants to update to the next OS release, but you won't be forced.

advanced settings of macos mojave software update panel

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