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How to Hide MacOS Catalina from Mac Software Update

While upgrading a system to macOS Catalina brings new features to the table, some users prefer to stay with older versions of the system for various reasons. Let it be consistency, familiarity, or simply not wanting to go through the hassle of a long update. No matter what your reasoning is, you can easily hide the macOS Catalina update from the Mac Software Update window and put an end to update prompts.

macos catalina

Apple is known to be persistent with software and system updates, as many new features get added as the macOS system evolves. For example, Catalina includes apps like TV which replaces features from iTunes and lets you use Apple TV+ subscriptions. The company rolls out free updates for macOS regularly, but these updates aren’t liked by everyone.

Today’s article focuses on removing the macOS Cataline update from your Software Update window, turning off the update notifications entirely.

Warning! Turning off software update notifications may cause you to miss out on important macOS updates such as security patches.

Additionally, we recommend making a Time Machine backup of your system before proceeding with the guide below. Creating a backup will ensure that even if you run into an error during the process, you can restore your system.

How to stop the macOS Catalina reminders

To turn off those continuous update notifications, we’ll be using terminal commands. Similarly to the Command Prompt on Windows systems, the terminal allows Mac users to alter how the system behaves via script-like code.

In order to properly turn off the macOS Catalina reminders, you must follow each step. Make sure not to make any typing mistakes when entering commands, and only execute commands shown in our guide.

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the upper left corner of your screen, then select System Preferences.
    system preference
  2. Click on the Software Update button, then click Advanced. This will open up a drop-down menu with options.
  3. Make sure to uncheck the following options, then click OK:
    -Check for Updates
    -Download New Updates When Available
    -Install macOS Updates
    You can close the System Preferences window now.
    system preference
  4. Next, open the Finder folder from your menu bar and select Applications from the menu on the left side of the window.
  5. Scroll down until you see the Utilities folder. Double click to open it, then launch the Terminal application.
    terminal application
  6. Type or copy and paste the following command into Terminal, then press the return key on your keyboard to execute it: 
    sudo softwareupdate --ignore "macOS Catalina" 
    softwarupdate
  7. When prompted, enter the admin password to complete the change. You can stop here if you’re happy with the current results, however, you’ll still see the red badge next to the System Preferences icon signaling a new update.
  8. If you wish to remove the red badge, enter the following command and execute it with the return key: 
    defaults write com.apple.systempreferences AttentionPrefBundleIDs 0
    execute with return key
  9. Next, restart the dock without affecting the rest of your system using the following command: killall Dock
    killall dock

Keep in mind that after completing the guide above, you need to avoid opening the Software Update tab inside your System Preferences. Opening the tab is the manual trigger for an update check, which will return the red circle that signals when a new update is available.

How to make the macOS Catalina update available again

If you’ve changed your mind and want to have your macOS Catalina updates back, there are three ways to restore them. Go with whichever method is the most convenient for you — all of them will lead to the same outcome, but cater to the needs and abilities of different users.

Restore a backup

 restore backup

If you followed our advice in the warning at the beginning of the article, you should have a usable Time Machine backup lying around of your system before you made the changes to hide the macOS Catalina update. You can restore this backup — or any other available backup, — by following the next steps.

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen, then select Restart.
  2. While your computer is starting up, simultaneously hold the command + R keys. This should take you straight to the macOS Utilities.
  3. Select Restore from Time Machine Backup from the options and follow all the on-screen instructions to restore your desired backup.
  4. Wait for your computer to finish restoring the backup and allow it to restart. Your updates should be restored now.

Use the Terminal again

 Terminal

You can instantly restore your macOS Catalina update notifications by using the same terminal you turned them off with. Here are all the necessary steps to get this done.

  1. Next, open the Finder folder from your menu bar and select Applications from the menu on the left side of the window.
  2. Scroll down until you see the Utilities folder. Double click to open it, then launch the Terminal application.
  3. Type or copy and paste the following command into Terminal, then press the return key on your keyboard to execute it: 
    sudo softwareupdate --reset-ignored
    sudo software update
  4. Enter the admin password and navigate to System Preferences > Software Update to see the macOS Catalina update again.

Manually download the macOS Catalina update

 Apple store

You can also restore the macOS Catalina updates by manually downloading the new version from the Mac App Store. This is a simple process that only requires the following steps.

  1. Navigate to the macOS Catalina page in the Mac App Store, then click on the blue Get button to start the update.
    app store page
  2. This will trigger the Software Update window to open, with the macOS Catalina update showing up again.
  3. Update by clicking on the Update Now button.
    update software

We hope that this article was able to show you how to remove or hide the macOS Catalina update from the Software Update window. Enjoy using your computer without persistent notifications and reminders about changing to a newer version of your system.

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