I'm running the latest version of Big Sur, and I'm not really interested in upgrading to Monterey at the moment (none of the enhancements interest me much). System Preferences keeps displaying a 1 badge, and when I open Software Update it just shows the upgrade to Monterey.

Sometimes when I go to the Software Update preference pane and click on "More info..." the badge goes away, but it comes back a little later. Is there a way to suppress these notifications?

None of the methods in Is it possible to STOP the 'Upgrade to macOS High Sierra' message that keeps stalking me? seem to be applicable in Big Sur. I don't want to disable checking for Big Sur updates, just the notification of the new major release.

  • Apple has been doing this for the last few macOS upgrades. It's annoying but all I have ever found is to ignore it. I know: not a solution, but all I could find. Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 12:52
  • Most of the advantages of a new OS are bug fixes, security patches, and features that developers can use in new applications, rather than swishy new features for the user.
    – benwiggy
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 7:46
  • @benwiggy That's true, but many of those fixes (espcially security updates) are also included in Big Sur updates, they don't require a major release upgrade.
    – Barmar
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 16:14
  • 11
    Count yourself lucky. My machine isn't supported under Monterey (so I can't install it) and I still get the notifications.
    – Fuzzy
    Commented Jan 22, 2022 at 18:50
  • @Fuzzy Yup, very annoying. "Hey! Upgrade to Monterey! Oh! No! You can't! Buy a new Mac!" "You don't even sell a 27" iMac any more." "Hey! Upgrade to Monterey!" Commented Apr 30, 2022 at 16:51

3 Answers 3


I have a job running in User Agents that runs this script every 300 seconds:

Badge=$(defaults read com.apple.systempreferences AttentionPrefBundleIDs)
echo $Badge
if [[ "$Badge" == *"1"* ]]; then
defaults write com.apple.systempreferences AttentionPrefBundleIDs 0 ; killall Dock
  • Shouldn't this be defaults write com.apple.systempreferences AttentionPrefBundleIDs '{ "com.apple.preferences.softwareupdate" = 0; }'
    – neu242
    Commented Oct 26, 2022 at 7:18
  • 1
    All I can say is the above works for me but then I'm running Mojave and your line might apply to a different MacOS version. touch "Install macOS Monterey” didn't work for me.
    – bikermike
    Commented Oct 27, 2022 at 8:17
  • For that to have any chance of working you'd have to touch '/Applications/Install macOS Monterey.app'
    – neu242
    Commented Oct 27, 2022 at 10:20
  • It works if you're in the directory.
    – bikermike
    Commented Oct 27, 2022 at 11:30
  • You still need .app at the end.
    – neu242
    Commented Oct 27, 2022 at 11:51

What I've done so far on my system (Catalina) is inserting a "dummy" file in Applications folder, which only me has the read & write permission, so macOS can not automatically download Monterey installer.

  • Step 1: Open Terminal and go to Application folder cd /Applications
  • Step 2: touch "Install macOS Monterey" to create an empty file named "Install macOS Monterey" in the Applications folder.

Only the creator has the write permission for this file,the "system" user, which used by the system to download and install system apps and updates, only has read permission. So as long as the dummy file is put there, macOS will not download Monterey installer and prompt for update.

  • I'm running Monterey now. I'll see if this works for the next major release.
    – Barmar
    Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 2:36
  • 1
    I think you need touch "/Applications/Install macOS Monterey.app" to make it a single step and the correct filename. If Apple check that it's a folder mkdir /Applications/Install macOS Monterey.app is going to be needed instead. Both untested speculation. But the suffix .app is probably required.
    – ocodo
    Commented Apr 9, 2022 at 6:56
  • 1
    So after a quick test, it doesn't work. I have the full installer app on disk at "/Applications/Install macOS Monterey.app" and macOS still insists on giving notifications.
    – ocodo
    Commented Apr 9, 2022 at 7:01
  • 1
    Yes. After a while the updater still erase the dummy dir and download the installer, so this solution doesn't work. To future readers, this solution is not working, please don't follow. Commented Mar 8, 2023 at 6:00

This one worked for me and on Big Sur too

Execute the following commands in Terminal:

defaults write com.apple.systempreferences AttentionPrefBundleIDs 0 
killall Dock

from https://osxdaily.com/2020/05/12/disable-red-badge-icon-system-preferences-macos/

  • I tried this today, but the badge just came back. Do I need to do it from an Admin account?
    – Barmar
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 18:48
  • 13
    I am getting the "upgrade to macOS Monterey" notifications and my computer isn't even supported! (Original iMac 5K.) When I hit the "Details" drop-down in the notification, nothing happens except that the notificaiton goes away. To be followed by four more notifications talking about other features my computer can't enjoy. It's so annoying... Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 23:06

You must log in to answer this question.

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