How to disable Apple software updates notifications?

How to disable Apple software updates notifications on Mac and Windows computers?

Software updates are usually released to improve system performance or, in some cases, compatibility. If the software contains errors or bugs, updates usually solve these issues. Despite this, notifications about available updates might become annoying, especially when the longest period you are able to delay them is one day. So, if nothing changes in a day, users receive notifications needlessly. Reminders for different time intervals, say weekly, might be preferable.

In addition, daily notifications regarding apps that are little used can be annoying, since you may not necessarily want to delete them, despite the low usage of the software. Many people report this situation on various forums, stating that they were unable to find ways to disable or delay these annoying notifications for longer than one day. Fortunately, there are a number of methods on Mac computers to turn off App Store notifications. Windows operating system users can set an option to disable them. These methods can sometimes seem confusing, and so they are covered in this article for clarity and ease-of-use.


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Close and turn off App Store notifications on the Mac

To temporarily turn off notifications, there are a number of options. First, simply swipe right - the notification will disappear for several hours. Repeat this twice within a day, and you will not see the same notification that day. The same reminder will pop up the next day (this, however, might be useful if you were busy during the first occurrence). If you wish to determine the time at which reminders should return, click Later and then select your preferred option from the list.


Another temporary, but more useful and functional option, is to enable the Do Not Disturb option. When this mode is enabled, no notifications are displayed unless you change the preferences (in which you can choose applications that are permitted to deliver notifications). To enable the Do Not Disturb environment, first click on the menu bar icon at the top right corner of the screen to open Notifications center. Then scroll up to the option to enable or disable this mode. Alternatively, open System Preferences, and then open the Notifications pane and choose to enable or disable Do Not Disturb.


Unfortunately, you must repeat this procedure each time you reboot your computer. Many people use this feature at work to reduce the chances of possible distractions. You can choose the time at which this mode is automatically enabled and turned off, however you cannot set multiple times (only one period is available). To set the schedule of Do Not Disturb mode, go to Mac System Preferences, choose the Notifications pane, and select Do Not Disturb from list on the left side of the new window. Here, you may choose the time at which this mode should be enabled and disabled, and also set which type of notifications should be permitted and other conditions relating to when this useful mode should be enabled.


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Disable Software update notifications permanently on Mac

This method will allow you to completely disable all notifications regarding software updates, however, when you wish to update applications, you must search and install updates manually. To permanently disable notifications about available updates, open the App Store application, click on App Store in the menu bar at top of your screen, and then select Preferences. Alternatively, open your Mac System Preferences and choose the App Store pane. In the new window, remove the checkmark from the box beside 'Automatically check for updates'. You can also choose to allow the computer to download and install (or just download) updates in the background by enabling the checkboxes beside the options below. If you enable all installation options, you will not see any notifications about new updates available, however, bear in mind that some updates requires a computer restart (and if you allow the Mac have this control, unexpected restarts might result in loss of data or your work in open files).


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Alternative method to disable notifications

An alternative method is to open a built-in Mac command line application called Terminal. Use Spotlight by pressing the keyboard shortcut of Command and Spacebar, type Terminal, and then press Return. The Terminal application can also be launched through Finder - simply go to the applications folder and choose Utilities. Here, you will find Terminal. Once the Terminal app has launched, type or copy-paste the following command:

  • sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ AutomaticDownload -boolean FALSE

Enter the above command and press Return on the keyboard. Terminal will ask you to confirm the action by entering the administrators account password.


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Disable upgrade to High Sierra notifications

These notifications are a real problem for users of earlier models of Mac computers. You may require minor operating system updates (so you do not wish to disable all notifications) but seek to prevent your computer from upgrading to maintain best performance. Furthermore, this particular notification can seem troublesome when refused, since there are no options to 'remind me tomorrow', 'try later', or similar. Fortunately, you can disable this reminder to upgrade your operating system. First, open Mac App Store and select the Updates tab at top of the window. Under the Update tab, you should see a large banner at the top of the page announcing the new version of the Mac operating system. Right click or hold down the Control key and click anywhere on the image and select the Hide update the option that pops up.


This should be enough to stop notifications relating to system upgrades, however there is another more effective method to disable these irritating notifications. First, open Finder and click on Go in the menu bar at top of your screen. Then select the Go To Folder option and type the following path /Library/Bundles into the destination field of a new dialogue window. Then, click Go and you should find a file titled OSXNotification.bundle. Delete or move this particular file to a different location on the computer (to perform this action, you will be prompted to confirm with a computer administrator account password). Once you have moved this file, restart the Mac. When computer boots, the notifications should be gone.

Disable Apple Software Update notifications on Windows PC

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This method covers the latest versions of the Windows operating system (for Windows 10, 8, 7, or Vista).

  • To start, click on the Start menu icon to expand the menu. In the search field, type Task Scheduler and press Enter, or double click on the program from the list.
  • In the left sidebar of the Task Scheduler window, expand the Task Scheduler Library folder by clicking the arrow, or simple double click the title.
  • Then, expand the Apple folder in the same way and right click on AppleSoftwareUpdate in the main list.
  • In the popped-up menu, select Disable or Delete. From this point, notifications about Apple software updates will not appear.

If you are still using Windows XP, follow this guidance to disable reminders about Apple software updates:

  • First, click the start menu button to expand the menu, and then select Programs.
  • Open Accessories and go to System Tools. Open the Scheduled Tasks.
  • Right click on AppleSoftwareUpdate and click delete.

This will stop all notifications relating to Apple software updates.

Video Showing how to disable Apple software notifications on Mac

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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