Apple continuously releases minor and major updates for macOS. Updating macOS to latest version not only helps to get new features but also keep your system safe from vulnerabilities. Similarly, individual app developers also releases updates and you need to keep the apps updated for them to work compatible with your macOS version. Mac offers automatic and manual update options for macOS as well as for apps. If you are using automatic updates, here is how to disable automatic update and use manual option.
Why to Disable Automatic Update?
Automatic macOS updates need connection to Apple’s server for downloading the installer package file. This installation file is huge in size and you need a stable internet connection for downloading such a large file. For example, you can go to App Store and find the latest macOS version app’s size. As you can see in the below screenshot, macOS Monterey app is 12.1 GB in size in App Store.
The installation file size is also a problem for many individual apps like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. Generally, these updates are more than GB in size as you can see in the below screenshot for Word for Mac app.
Downloading large files in the background can easily slow down the system and important tasks you are doing in the frontend. Therefore, it is highly recommended to manually check and download the files when you are free.
Disable Automatic Updates
The automatic update of macOS and apps work through Software Update section under System Preferences section. You can stop the updates by following the below instructions:
- Click on the Apple logo showing on the top left corner of the screen and select “System Preferences” menu.
- Click “Software Update” icon to go to that section.
- Mac will automatically start checking any available updates.
- Simply, uncheck the “Automatically keep my Mac up to date” option.
- Confirm the prompt by clicking on “Turn Off Automatic Updates” button.
This will disable automatic updates of macOS and all installed apps from App Store.
Customize Automatic Download and Install of Updates
If you want to customize the automatic updates, click on the “Advanced” button.
You have the following options:
- Check for updates – enabling this option allows your Mac to check for updates. Disabling this option will disable all further options.
- Download new updates when available – this will automatically download the files without your permission. Disabling this option will also disable the next two options.
- Install macOS updates – this will automatically install the downloaded macOS version.
- Install apps updates from the App Store – automatically install app updates from App Store.
- Install system data and security updates – automatically download and install only security and system updates.
You can make use of these options in different combinations. For example, just enable option 1 so that Mac will only check for updates. You will see a notification under Apple logo menu whenever there are updates available for macOS and apps. Whenever you are free, you can check the details and update macOS and apps manually. If you want to use automatic app updates but disable macOS updates, then enable option 1, 2 & 4. Similarly, if you only want automatic macOS updates, then enable 1, 2 & 3.
We recommend enabling option 1 & 5. In this way, you can get notification for major macOS and app updates while automatically installing system/security updates.
Manually Updating macOS and Apps
If you have completely disabled all automatic updates, then follow the below instructions to manually update macOS and apps.
- macOS – go to “Apple menu > System Preferences > Software Update”. Mac will check for updates and you will see a “Update Now” button if there is an update available. Click on the “Update Now” button to get the latest macOS version.
- Apps – go to “Apple menu > App Store > Updates” section. Check for the app updates and click on “Update” button to get the latest app version.
Note: If you have downloaded apps from third-party websites, then check whether the app has update option. Otherwise, you may need to download the latest version from developer’s website.