I have Catalina running on a 16" MacBook Pro.

I do not want to upgrade to Big Sur until next July. Is there a way to do that?

Responding to BMike:

Two days before Big Sur dropped I set Software Update as follows:

enter image description here

On the day Big Sur dropped I got the update message and I told it to remind me tomorrow.

Today I tried the sudo command and got this:

enter image description here

I am going to leave this open for another day, but at the moment it looks like the answer is "You can't"

  • 1
    See this question that's about auto-updating to Catalina. Try the steps, they should still work for Big Sur but I haven't tried them.
    – fsb
    Commented Nov 14, 2020 at 14:41
  • 1
    There is a difference between an update of an existing operating system (e.g. 10.15.5 -> 10.15.6) and an upgrade from one version of the operating system to another (e.g. 10.15.X -> 11.0.1). (This was true for "minor" version upgrades, such as 10.14.X -> 10.15.X). I'm unaware of any way to make Big Sur be installed short of you explicitly clicking "Upgrade Now".
    – chepner
    Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 17:50
  • Thanks for the extra context - I've edited my answer. The command to block won't work until such time as you see it listed as ready for a command line option. See the tool Big Sur Blocker if you need to be sure you block it before it's advertised.
    – bmike
    Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 22:00

2 Answers 2


Disable the Automatically keep my Mac up to date check box.

enter image description here

Use the second “more info ...” blue link to get security updates until you are ready to take the invitation to upgrade. It’s listed below the Other Updates text in the middle of the window. If you like the command line you can pick and choose from any or all available update(s) and also suppress them by name.

sudo /usr/sbin/softwareupdate --ignore "macOS Big Sur"

Please read this entire article before trying sudo for the first time, you could delete all your documents and photos with a syntax error or bad copy/paste of a good command. If you use Time Machine, one sudo alone won’t delete your backups.

The article above explains the down side of trying to block Big Sur before it's advertised and the error message you will see in that case. A more invasive solution would be to use an MDM product to block the actual installer. Or compile an app like the following open-source tool which anyone can compile with a free AppleID and free version of Xcode.

  • The article you referenced has inspired a new Q&A :)
    – Seamus
    Commented Nov 14, 2020 at 19:02
  • 4
    The ability to ignore specific updates via terminal has been deprecated (and did not work for the last couple of months for me as I tried to avoid Catalina) Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 3:06
  • 3
    I am getting following message: Software Update can only ignore updates that are eligible for installation. If the label provided to ignore is not in the above list, it is not eligible to be ignored. Ignoring software updates is deprecated. The ability to ignore individual updates will be removed in a future release of macOS.
    – alper
    Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 14:06
  • Two days before Big Sur dropped I made the following settings to software update . Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 14:50
  • I’ll make a Ask Different Chat room for support on Big Sur later in the week. We are calling this and it’s confirmed Apple is warning people but we believe Catalina and below can still use this despite the warnings... ask for help on main for now...
    – bmike
    Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 16:31

If you have unchecked all the options in the Software Update > Advanced dialog, as shown in your question, and unchecked "Automatically keep my Mac up to date", then OS upgrade and updates will not install unless you manually do so.

In fact "Install MacOS updates" is the critical setting. I bypassed Catalina entirely on one of my Macs.

I would recommend turning on "install system data files and security updates", as this will update the built-in malware database and patch other security flaws.

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