by Jim Lynch

macOS Sierra: Disable automatic downloading and installation of macOS updates

Oct 04, 2016
Consumer ElectronicsMacOS

It’s easy to stop macOS Sierra from downloading and installing macOS updates automatically.

Sierra has been out for a little while now, and many Mac users have upgraded to it and are enjoying all of its new features. But time marches on and there will inevitably be updates to macOS Sierra.

While most folks probably like having macOS updates downloaded and installed automatically, it’s very easy to disable this feature so you can choose whether or not you want to download an update.

Should you disable it? Ultimately it’s really an issue of control versus convenience. Some folks want to decide when macOS Sierra downloads and installs an update, while others could care less and don’t want to bother wasting their time keeping track of updates.

Whichever way you go with macOS updates, you can easily change the settings in System Preferences if you change your mind later on. Apple has made it simple, easy and fast to configure how you want macOS Sierra to handle its updates

How to disable automatic downloading and installing of macOS updates

Just follow these simple steps to disable automatic downloading and installation of macOS updates.

1. Open the System Preferences menu.

2. Click on App Store.

3. Uncheck the box for “Download newly available updates in the background” if you want to stop automatic downloads.

4. You can also uncheck the “Install macOS updates” box if you want to continue to download updates but not install them right away.

screen shot 2016 10 04 at 10.54.00 am

Why I keep automatic macOS update downloads on

I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not to allow macOS updates to download automatically. I’ve more or less settled on letting them happen because eventually I’ll want to install them anyway. So letting them download automatically in the background just saves me a click or two later on.

I also have the “Install macOS updates” setting checked. This is another example of convenience winning out over wanting to control when they are installed. It just saves me the bother of having to decide when to install them. I tend to be a procrastinator, so having the install done automatically means that it actually gets done instead of being put off forever.

Your mileage may vary in this, of course. Some folks do not want macOS updates downloading to their system automatically, or they might want to download them but not install them automatically.

However you feel about macOS updates, Apple has given all of us the ability to control how updates get downloaded and if they get installed automatically.

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