Home > Mac administration, macOS > Preventing the macOS Catalina upgrade advertisement from appearing in the Software Update preference pane on macOS Mojave

Preventing the macOS Catalina upgrade advertisement from appearing in the Software Update preference pane on macOS Mojave

Not yet ready for macOS Catalina in your environment, but you’ve trained your folks to look at the Software Update preference pane to see if there’s available updates? One of the ways Apple is advertising the macOS Catalina upgrade is via the Software Update preference pane in System Preferences:

Screen Shot 2019 10 07 at 3 47 35 PM

If you want to prevent that advertising banner from appearing, run the following command with root privileges:

softwareupdate --ignore "macOS Catalina"

You should see text appear which looks like this:

Ignored updates:
(
    "macOS Catalina"
)

Screen Shot 2019 10 07 at 4 04 21 PM

The advertisement banner from the Software Update preference pane should now be removed.

Screen Shot 2019 10 07 at 4 04 38 PM

Categories: Mac administration, macOS
  1. c.kemp
    October 7, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    Couple of things to note, from my testing: there is still a red “1” showing on the Sys Prefs dock icon; and Software Update shows “1 update” in the Apple menu, even though Catalina has been hidden in the actual SU window.

  2. October 7, 2019 at 11:41 pm

    I can confirm the red “1” that remains. Which will annoy users who’ll keep checking for what’s missing…

  3. Scott S.
    October 8, 2019 at 1:31 am

    This worked great! Now if only there is a way to remove that pesky red badge!

    • Dave S
      October 8, 2019 at 3:04 am

      I got rid of the red 1 by killing the dock process after running the command Rich talked about.

  4. Luis B.
    October 8, 2019 at 3:22 am

    You can get rid of the red “1” badge that appears in the System Prefs Dock icon and System Preferences “Software Update” section by running the following command as the user:

    defaults write com.apple.systempreferences AttentionPrefBundleIDs 0

    If the System Preferences icon is on the dock, restarting the dock will refresh the System Preferences icon and get rid of the red “1” badge.

    • Scott S.
      October 8, 2019 at 11:41 pm

      That works, but it comes back immediately after opening software update again. Despite it saying no updates are available, the “1” always comes back. If anyone knows of a way to permanently hide it, that would be great!

  5. Eric deRuiter
    October 8, 2019 at 11:06 am

    Does this work in High Sierra (assuming the prompt will start appearing in App Store in the coming days there)?

    If not then the installer should be able to be blocked with

    cd /Applications; sudo echo “placeholderFileDisablesDownloading” > “macOS Catalina.app”; sudo chflags uchg “macOS Catalina.app”

    And

    cd /Applications; sudo echo “placeholderFileDisablesDownloading” > “macOS Catalina.appdownload”; sudo chflags uchg “macOS Catalina.appdownload”

  6. Peter-Erik
    October 8, 2019 at 11:57 am

    Will “defaults write com.apple.systempreferences AttentionPrefBundleIDs 0” disable all notifications? (future)

  7. devlinford
    October 8, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    This is great, but how can we reverse this ‘ignore’ flag if once we’re ready to roll this out?

  8. devlinford
    October 8, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    ….It looks to be: “softwareupdate –reset-ignored” but I cannot get it to work 😦

    • Mark Laslo
      October 8, 2019 at 3:05 pm

      Try adding a second dash in front of reset-ignored “sudo softwareupdate –reset-ignored”

    • Matt
      October 8, 2019 at 5:51 pm

      I think you need 2 dashed (–) in front of the reset-ignored command

    • devlinford
      October 8, 2019 at 5:58 pm

      Thanks guys…it was actually the ‘sudo’ that I was missing ;(

    • Kremer
      October 14, 2019 at 12:51 pm

      Is it supposed to be “sudo softwareupdate -reset-ignored”?

      It didn’t work around here. Any thoughts?

      • Kremer
        October 14, 2019 at 12:55 pm

        Update:
        I rebooted my Mac and now it works.

  9. Matt
    October 8, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    If we are maintaining an internal sus server, Simply not approving the macOS Catalina package will achieve the same thing, correct?

    • A.Claydon
      October 8, 2019 at 6:48 pm

      Computers on my internal sus server are not not showing macOS Catalina.

  10. October 9, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    Use “defaults read /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate.plist InactiveUpdates” to see what’s been set to be ignored. Next to roll out a script to turn off Catalina nags department wide…

  11. cashxx
    October 9, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    Where is that 8GB sitting at when it is shown in software update? I don’t see the Catalina installer in /Applications. Should it be in there, is it in another location or doesn’t it download the 8GB until you hit upgrade?

    • Eric deRuiter
      October 9, 2019 at 6:41 pm

      It is in /Applications but it is named macOS Catalina.app, not Install macOS Catalina.app as you would expect it to be based on past years.

    • devlinford
      October 9, 2019 at 6:43 pm

      @Cashxx: It isn’t local until you hit upgrade. Then it downloads and auto-launches once done.

  12. Ousley, Kara
    October 9, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    If you do that command, does it prevent the user from ever downloading Catalina from the App store? I’ve run into this. Its basically stopping Catalina from downloading at all.

    From: Der Flounder
    Reply-To: Der Flounder
    Date: Monday, October 7, 2019 at 4:12 PM
    To: Kara Ousley
    Subject: [New post] Preventing the macOS Catalina upgrade advertisement from appearing in the Software Update preference pane on macOS Mojave

    This email is from outside ECU and may, or may not, be legitimate. Please use your due diligence before taking action. Click for details.

    rtrouton posted: “Not yet ready for macOS Catalina in your environment, but you’ve trained your folks to look at the Software Update preference pane to see if there’s available updates? One of the ways Apple is advertising the macOS Catalina upgrade is to make it available”

  13. Kara
    October 9, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    I’m seeing a side effect. The user cannot upgrade to Catalina through the app store once that ignore command is run. I’m good with that but wanted to make sure everyone was aware.

  14. Doug Riddels
    October 9, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    Can others confirm that the softwareupdate –ignore “macOS Catalina” command will also prevent upgrades via the App Store?

    • devlinford
      October 9, 2019 at 11:48 pm

      Yes, that is the correct behaviour.

      It’s hidden from Software Update. Even if you visit the App Store, search for Catalina and “Get” it will launch Software Update in Sys Prefs and kick an error that the app you are trying to download is unavailable.

      You won’t be able to install via this method until you clear the “ignore” flag.

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