I'd like to keep my Mac on Catalina forever. Other than disabling "Automatically keep my Mac up to date", is there anything else I can do to prevent my Mac from upgrading to newer macOS versions? I'm still interested in receiving Catalina updates and Safari updates, but they don't need to be automatic.

This machine will be kept online, but only used for audio software. It doesn't need to be secure.

  • 8
    "This machine will be kept online, but only used for audio software. It doesn't need to be secure." – I would urge you to reconsider that stance. Being a good Internet netizen means caring about the community as a whole. Insecure computers not only put the owner at risk, they are also used to attack others. In fact, the overwhelming majority of attacks is launched from insecure computers that were taken over, also the overwhelming majority of spam and phishing mails is sent from insecure computers connected to the Internet. Famously, one DDoS attack on Stack Exchange was launched by a network Mar 1, 2021 at 6:37
  • 2
    … of security cameras that were not properly secured. Mar 1, 2021 at 6:37
  • 2
    As professional hacker, I can highly recommend you to not update to the latest version of your OS, including security updates. This makes my job of breaking into your computer much easier!
    – MechMK1
    Mar 1, 2021 at 10:51

1 Answer 1


Actually that is pretty easy to do.

I've got a 16" MBP on which I do not want to upgrade to Big Sur (at least yet) and here is what I have done.

First go to System Preferences > Software update and uncheck "Automatically keep my Mac up to date" like this:

Software Update

Then click the "Advanced..." button and un check everything except the first option, like this:

Software Update 2

Note that is is OK to leave the last option "Install System data files and security updates." But being the mildly paranoid techie I choose to leave that off. Your call tho.

Note that there is really no way to hide the Big Sur "Upgrade Now" button but when there are updates for your current macOS version they will appear below that under a very small "more..." link. That will NOT install Big Sur. Instead it will install just the updates to your current version of macOS.

  • 3
    I would strongly recommend not disabling 'Install system data files and security updates' option, as that disables updates to security data files. You can leave 'Download new updates when available' enabled if you like, while that will likely download Big Sur (as well as any Catalina updates), it won't install them. 'Install app updates from the App Store' doesn't affect system updates, only apps from the App Store, so that can be left either enabled or disabled. 'Install macOS updates' is the only one that would cause macOS to automatically install updates. Note that even with that disa
    – Aaron
    Mar 1, 2021 at 7:07
  • 6
    "But being the mildly paranoid techie I choose to leave [security updates] off." - What?!
    – MechMK1
    Mar 1, 2021 at 10:58
  • Thank you for answering the question as asked.
    – bitmaker
    Mar 1, 2021 at 18:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .