• You can turn off software update notifications on a Mac computer in a few steps, or set your Mac to update automatically.
  • Software update notifications pop up automatically to let you know when there’s an available update for your computer.
  • While these notifications may be useful, the pop-ups can be distracting.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Apple offers regular updates to its software and operating systems, which improve functionality and security. However, the notifications can be annoying and may pop up at inconvenient times. 

Since these updates are for all the Apple programs in your computer, you may get notifications for apps you don’t use. Luckily, you can turn the notifications off. With the Mojave or Catalina operating system, you can even adjust your preferences so your system updates automatically without notifying you.

How to turn off software update notifications on a Mac running Mojave or Catalina

1. Click on the Apple icon in the top left corner and click on “System Preferences…”

2. In the grid of icons, click on “Software Update,” which looks like a gear. It should be located near the bottom section of “System Preferences.”


Select “Software Update.”

Ryan Ariano/Business Insider

3. Next to the box labeled “Automatically keep my Mac up to date,” click “Advanced.” 


Click on “Advanced.”

Ryan Ariano/Business Insider

4. In the “Advanced” pop-up, uncheck the box labeled “Check for updates.” This will uncheck all the other boxes and stop the automatic update notifications. 


Uncheck the “Check for updates” box.

Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business Insider

5. Click “Ok” to close the mini pop-up. If the box labeled “Automatically keep my Mac up to date” had been previously checked, it will now be unchecked.  

How to automatically update a Mac, without notifications, in Mojave or Catalina

1. Open the “System Preferences” app on your Mac.

2. Click on the icon for “Software Update,” which looks like a gear.

3. Next to the checkbox labeled “Automatically keep my Mac up to date,” click “Advanced.”

4. Click the box called “Check for updates” if it’s not already checked.

5. Next, check the box for “Download new updates when available” and the box for “Install macOS updates.” If you want to keep every aspect of your Mac up to date, also click the boxes for “Install app updates from the App store” and “Install system data files and security updates.” 

mac automatic updates 3

Check off the first three boxes, or all the boxes if you choose.

Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business Insider

6. Click “Ok” to exit the mini pop-up.

7. Now, the box next to “Automatically keep my Mac up to date” should have either a small dash in it or a check mark, depending on whether or not you checked all the boxes in the mini pop-up.


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