How to disable automatic software updates on Mac

Software Update Check for Updates Only Mac

While having automatic software updates turned on for your Mac can be handy, those updates can also happen at an inopportune time. You may simply prefer to update your Mac manually at a time that’s convenient for you.

The same goes for app updates from the Mac App Store. You might want to review those updates first in case there’s an app you no longer want, or perhaps you’re actively using an app and want to update it later instead.

There’s a quick and easy way to disable automatic software updates on Mac for both macOS and App Store apps.

Disable automatic software updates on Mac

You can take care of disabling these updates all in one spot by following these steps.

1) Open System Preferences using the icon in your Dock or Apple icon > System Preferences from the menu bar.

2) Select Software Update.

3) Click the Advanced button.

4) If you uncheck the first box for Check for updates, that will automatically uncheck the remaining boxes. But, it’s wise to leave this marked so that your system checks for updates and notifies you of them before downloading and installing.

Software Update Check for Updates Only Mac


If you decide to automatically download updates for either macOS or the App Store in particular, leave the Check for updates box checked, mark the next box for Download new updates when available, and then make your selections for the other options.

Software Update Install macOS Updates Mac

Note: Even if you disable automatic macOS and app updates, you should consider keeping the box at the bottom for system data files and security updates checked and mark the box to download those when available. It’s important to receive those types of timely updates.

Software Update Install System File Updates Mac

5) When you finish with your changes, click OK.

Keep your Mac up to date

If you decide down the road to receive all software updates automatically again, you can simply head back to System Preferences > Software Update and then click the box for Automatically keep my Mac up to date.

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

Software Update Keep Mac Up To Date

Wrapping it up

Remember that it is important to keep your Mac, and the apps you use, up to date for optimal performance. So if you disable automatic software updates, be sure to check for and download new updates at a time that works for you.

Do you plan to turn off any of your automatic updates? Let us know your reasons!