How to configure Automatic Downloads on your Mac

macOS users can take advantage of Automatic Downloads, which allows your Mac to automatically download apps, movies, music, and other media that were downloaded on other Apple devices you own.

Unfortunately, some users may not want this. Some apps and media take up a lot of storage space, and there’s no reason to sop up all of your individual devices’ storage space to keep home to one specific app.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how you can configure automatic downloads on your Mac so you have better control over the content that is downloaded to your machine.

TV app on Mac

How to configure Automatic Downloads on your Mac

Automatic Downloads are convenient in some cases but not always a good thing to have enabled. Automatic Downloads help to keep things in sync with one another across all of your devices, but the problem is that people usually have different devices for different purposes and don’t do the same thing on each of them.

Automatic downloads can also take up valuable storage space across your device lineup. For example, having an app that’s 800 MB on one device is going to use just 800 MB of your storage on that device. But, if you download that same app on 4 of your devices, that’s 4 x 800 MB, which is over 3 GB.

If you want to configure Automatic Downloads on your Mac so that apps and other media downloaded on other devices are or aren’t automatically downloaded to your Mac and using valuable storage space, you can follow these steps.


  1. Open the Music app and go to its settings by pressing the Command + Comma (,) keys together. You can also click Music from the top menu bar and choose Settings or Preferences.
  2. From the General section, check or uncheck the Automatic Downloads box.
Uncheck Automatic Downloads Music Mac


  1. Launch the TV app on your Mac and press together the Command + Comma (,) keys.
  2. From the General section, check or uncheck the small boxes next to Movies and TV Shows.
Automatic movies and tv shows downloads on Mac


  1. Open the Podcasts app on your Mac.
  2. From the top left of the menu bar, click Podcasts > Settings or Preferences.
  3. Make sure you’re in the General section. From here, click the drop-down menu next to Automatically Download and select Off or one of the desired options.
Automatic downloads in Podcasts app on Mac


  1. Open the App Store and click App Store > Settings or Preferences from the top menu bar.
  2. Use the box next to Automatic Updates, Automatically download apps purchased on other devices, and Automatically download in-app content.
Enable automatic updates for Mac apps in App Store

Still, using iTunes on macOS Mojave or earlier?

1) Launch the iTunes app on your Mac and authorize your computer from Store > Authorize This Computer in the menu bar.

Authorize Mac computer iTunes

2) Now go to iTunes > Preferences in the menu bar.

iTunes Preferences Menu Bar

3) Open the Store tab and un-check all the items under the Automatic Downloads section that you don’t want to have automatically downloaded to your Mac when they’ve been downloaded on another device, and leave checked the ones that you do.

Automatic Downloads in iTunes on Mac

4) Click on the OK button to save the changes you’ve made.

Check out next: