I have red circle notification on my System Preferences icon to inform macOS Big Sur update is available. There is also an Upgrade Now button in Software Update:

They annoy me since I did not ask anything, and I don't want to do the upgrade before a few months.

Is there a way to remove them?

System preferences with (1) red notification

Software Update with Upgrade Now button

  • 1
    On my macOS Mojave, blocking softwareupdated with Lulu firewall, and then clicking on "Software Update" in "System Preferences" removes the red badge icon. (Every 2 weeks, I just unblock softwareupdated on Lulu and check if there are new security updates, and update macOS, without bothering to upgrade to macOS Catalina and above). The "Upgrade Now" button and banner do remain in "Software Update" but it doesn't bother me.
    – sfxedit
    Commented Nov 26, 2020 at 22:11

4 Answers 4


I too do not like seeing the red badges and use the following method to remove them in System Preferences and on its dock tile on the Dock.

In Terminal, run the following compound command:

defaults write com.apple.systempreferences AttentionPrefBundleIDs 0 ; killall Dock
  • Note however, this is not permanent and the command will need to be run again if you go back into Software Update in System Preferences, or the system automatically checks for updates.
  • Also, the killall Dock command will un-minimize all minimize windows, but the command needs to be executed for the red badges to not show after modifying the plist file.
  • I do not know of a way to permanently remove the red badges or the Upgrade Now button.
  • @Joy Jin, killall Dock is the defacto standard in scenarios such as this and the osascript command you propose is no more gentler in that it too will un-minimize all minimize windows. By default killall will send a TERM signal and this signal requests a process to stop running. This signal can be ignored. The process is given time to gracefully shutdown. When a program gracefully shuts down, that means it is given time to save its progress and release resources. In other words, it is not forced to stop. So again, your propose command is no more gentler! Commented Jan 11, 2021 at 14:39
  • @Joy Jin Microsoft PowerPoint is not the focus of this, the Dock is and in this use case your command is not any more gentler as it causes the same disruption with minimized windows and frankly that is all that matters in this instance! Commented Jan 12, 2021 at 1:19
  • Sure. I agree that these two are identical when considering its disruption with minimize windows. Thank you for your help regarding the use of quotes.
    – Joy Jin
    Commented Jan 12, 2021 at 2:05

It was possible to do this with:

sudo softwareupdate --ignore "macOS Big Sur"

That would hide the "Upgrade Now" button BUT:

First they removed that ability in macOS Catalina 10.15.5:

Major new releases of macOS are no longer hidden when using the softwareupdate(8) command with the --ignore flag

And then they added this in macOS Catalina 10.15.6:

Major new releases of macOS can be hidden when using the softwareupdate(8) command with the --ignore flag, if the Mac is enrolled in Apple School Manager, Apple Business Manager, or a user-approved MDM.

So unless your Mac is enrolled in MDM (and even then it seems to be buggy) there is no longer an official way to hide this function.

Source: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210642


There's no built-in way to "refuse" or postpone the notification of a system update.


sudo softwareupdate --ignore "macOS Big Sur"

the above commend result as below:

Ignored updates: ( )

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

  • 1
    Sorry but what's the added value of your answer compared to those from laktak ? Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 10:16

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