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How to Disable Mac’s Automatic Software Updates

While having automatic software updates enabled on your Mac is convenient, those updates can also occur at inconvenient times. You may simply prefer to manually update your Mac at a time that is convenient for you.

The same is true for Mac App Store app updates. You might want to go over those updates first in case there’s an app you no longer want, or you might be actively using an app and want to update it later.

It’s simple to disable automatic software updates on Mac for both macOS and App Store apps.

Disable automatic software updates on Mac

By following these steps, you can disable all of these updates at once.

  1. Open System Preferences by double-clicking the icon in your Dock or by selecting Apple > System Preferences from the menu bar.
  2. Click on Software Update.
  3. Select the Advanced option.
  4. Unchecking the first box for Check for updates automatically unchecks the remaining boxes. However, it is best to leave this checked so that your system checks for updates and notifies you before downloading and installing them.
    • If you want to automatically download updates for macOS or the App Store, leave the Check for updates box checked, check the next box for Download new updates when available, and then make your other choices.
    • Even if you turn off automatic macOS and app updates, you should keep the box at the bottom for system data files and security updates checked and check the box to download them when they become available. It is critical to receive such timely updates.
  5. When you’re finished making changes, click OK.

Keep your Mac updated

If you later decide that you want to receive all software updates automatically again, go back to System Preferences > Software Update and check the box next to Automatically keep my Mac up to date.

This will convert it from a minus sign to a check mark and check all of the boxes in the Advanced section.

Finishing up

Remember that keeping your Mac and the apps you use up to date is critical for optimal performance. If you disable automatic software updates, make sure to check for and download new updates at a convenient time for you.

Do you intend to disable any of your automatic updates? Please explain your reasoning!

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