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

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

Not yet ready for macOS Big Sur 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 Big Sur upgrade is via the Software Update preference pane:

Screen Shot 2020 11 12 at 2 25 15 PM

You can block it from appearing using the softwareupdate –ignore command, but for macOS Catalina, Mojave and High Sierra, that command now requires one of the following enrollments as a pre-requisite:

  • Apple Business Manager enrollment
  • Apple School Manager enrollment
  • Enrollment in a user-approved MDM

For more information on this, please reference the following KBase article: https://support.apple.com/HT210642 (search for the following: Major new releases of macOS can be hidden when using the softwareupdate(8) command).

For more details, please see below the jump.

Once that pre-requisite condition has been satisfied, run the following command with root privileges:

softwareupdate --ignore "macOS Big Sur"

You should see text appear which looks like this:

Ignored updates:
(
"macOS Big Sur"
)

Screen Shot 2020 11 12 at 2 28 44 PM

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

Screen Shot 2020 11 12 at 2 28 58 PM

Note: If the pre-requisite condition has not been fulfilled, running the softwareupdate –ignore command will have no effect.

Screen Shot 2020 11 12 at 2 28 03 PM

Categories: Mac administration, macOS
  1. November 12, 2020 at 8:25 pm

    Absolutely this is all the case. So far my brute force approach has been to run that command on check-in until Big Sur was released … then scale the policy back to once per day. That will hopefully also catch the nasty habit of the block disappearing.

    It’s brute force, but i’ll finesse something better later.

    • Aaron
      November 13, 2020 at 12:41 pm

      Why do you have to run it so often? Wouldn’t the setting “stick” unless the user runs softwareupdate –reset-ignored?

  2. November 13, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    And I assume that as in Catalina it can be removed with:
    softwareupdate –reset-ignored

    • Michael Page
      November 14, 2020 at 4:35 am

      Confirmed, that the command is: sudo softwareupdate –reset-ignored

      • Michael Page
        November 14, 2020 at 4:37 am

        Note that there are two dashes in front of reset-ignored

      • November 16, 2020 at 5:45 pm

        and what command should you follow it up with? there’s a huge text that appeared for me

      • Michael Page
        November 17, 2020 at 11:00 am

        Hi Nikita! WordPress has replaced the two dashes with a single “en dash”, which will not work properly in Terminal. Avoid copy and pasting the command, instead type it out, remembering to place two regular dashes in front of reset-ignored

  3. November 17, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    Looks like the softwareupdate “ignore” flag is removed completely in Big Sur by the way.

    https://developer.apple.com/forums/thread/650369

    Maybe because Apple has new ways of temporarily blocking updates for enterprise environments?

  4. November 20, 2020 at 12:03 am

    On 10.14 I’d like to ignore *both* 10.15 and big-sur. Any sure way(s) to do so on mdm macs?
    On 10.14.6 with all updates as of 2020-11-19 including 2020-006 (18G6042) i can ignore big sur but *not* also catalina:
    ```
    bash-5.0$ sudo softwareupdate --ignore "macOS Catalina"
    Ignored updates:
    (
    "macOS Big Sur"
    )

    Ignoring software updates is deprecated.
    ```
    On 10.14.6 that do not yet have to recent "security" updates -005/-006 i can still ignore 10.15:
    ```
    bash-3.2$ sudo softwareupdate --ignore
    Ignored updates:
    (
    "macOS Catalina"
    )

    Ignoring software updates is deprecated.
    The ability to ignore individual updates will be removed in a future release of macOS.
    bash-3.2$ sw_vers
    ProductName: Mac OS X
    ProductVersion: 10.14.6
    BuildVersion: 18G5033
    bash-3.2$ sudo softwareupdate --ignore "macOS Big Sur"
    Ignored updates:
    (
    "macOS Big Sur",
    "macOS Catalina"
    )

    ```

    Wish i could ignore both on *every* 10.14 mac 😉

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