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Given a Mac running macOS Mojave, does turning on the checkbox "Automatically keep my Mac up to date" in System Preferences > Software Update mean that Catalina will automatically be installed?

I want only minor updates and security patches to be installed automatically, not the major OS upgrades. I do not yet want to step up to Catalina.

screenshot of Sys Prefs > Software Upgrade > "Automatically keep my Mac up to date" panel

I found this useless Apple support page about the Advanced panel that simply repeats the text of the checkboxes’ labels as a pseudo-explanation. (Tip: Click the Helpful? > No button at bottom of that page as feedback to Apple.)

screenshot of Sys Prefs > Software Upgrade > "Automatically keep my Mac up to date" > Advanced panel

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  • apple.stackexchange.com/questions/367995/… exact same question in comments.
    – anki
    Oct 12 '19 at 19:12
  • @ankii Actually, nothing on that page explains exactly what the options in "Advanced" means. Neither does the lousy Apple support page. Oct 12 '19 at 20:46
  • yes, I linked it here to notify that user in future, if you accept answers. There is no important info there. Help page says "Automatically keep my Mac up to date= Select this tickbox to have your Mac install updates automatically." support.apple.com/en-in/guide/mac-help/mchla7037245/10.14/mac/…
    – anki
    Oct 12 '19 at 20:50
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    Apple generally distinguishes between updates (minor version changes, like 10.14.0 to 10.14.6, security updates, etc) and upgrades (major version changes, like Mojave (10.14.x) to Catalina (10.15.x). As far as I know, the automatic update feature only does updates. Oct 13 '19 at 7:14
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No it does not.

I have Mojave and it installed several updates yesterday automatically but a major system upgrade has to be authorized manually. So it is telling me it is there and available but not installing until I give permission.

Edit: I have the updates checked in the advanced panel and it did not install Catalina. See:

enter image description here

I suggest it is a question of understanding: "install system updates" is relevant to the current system not changing to a new system

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    If that is so, then what is the "Install macOS updates" option in the Advanced panel? Oct 12 '19 at 20:51
  • @BasilBourque I suggest it is a question of understanding: "install system updates" is relevant to the current system not changing to a new system.
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 12 '19 at 21:05
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    Thanks. I am trying it out now to verify myself. Oct 12 '19 at 21:19
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macOS Catalina will appear as a software update in System Preferences once you have downloaded it from the Mac App Store. Mojave will not install Catalina automatically if you have enabled automatic updates.

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