How-To Disable macOS High Sierra Upgrade Notifications

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Is it just me or are those daily upgrade notifications for upgrading to macOS High Sierra annoying the bleep out of you? Every time I turn on my MacBook (2017,) it immediately starts up with that exasperating High Sierra notice to upgrade to High Sierra so I can “enjoy the latest technologies and refinements.” And it’s even popping up on my iMac (2015 with Fusion Drive,) that Apple itself recommends NOT updating to High Sierra. And I really DON’T want to upgrade to macOS High Sierra right now on any of my Macs! How To Disable macOS High Sierra Upgrade Notifications

Can’t Close or Dismiss High Sierra Upgrade?

Worst of all, there doesn’t appear to be a way to close it permanently. Its only options are Install and Details, no Dismiss or X button available. Clicking Install obviously starts downloading and install High Sierra, so that’s not an option. And Details just opens the Mac App Store. Neither option offers a way to permanently remove that High Sierra Upgrade Notification from reappearing the next time I start up my Macs. What I really want is a permanent way to stop high sierra notifications from showing up at all. How To Disable macOS High Sierra Upgrade Notifications

So what’s a girl to have to do to get rid of this darn thing?

Luckily, after finally getting sick of seeing this notification pop-up for months on end, I decided I had enough and found some ways to turn it off for good–I mean permanently. And it’s pretty darn easy too, though definitely NOT obvious.

Option #1: Disable High Sierra Upgrade Notification via Mac App Store

Why does Apple make the simplest of things so difficult to discover? After spending a lot of time trying things, I came upon the easiest of solutions, all done within the Mac App Store.

  • Click on mac OS High Sierra Notifications Details option OR just open Mac App Store
  • Choose the Updates Tab from the list of App Store Page options
  • In the banner for macOS High Sierra, control-click anywhere inside that banner
  • Select Hide Update and bingo, no more notification! How To Disable macOS High Sierra Upgrade Notifications

Option #2: Love DYI? Let’s Leverage It!

Some Mac folks just love manually managing their Macs. So for ya’ll, give this one a try and see if it erases that High Sierra Notification for good.

Open MacintoshHD (or whatever you named your operating drive)

  • Open the Library folder (this is not in your user account Library but rather the top level)
  • Locate the Bundles folder and open it
  • Find the file named OSXNotification.bundle
  • Throw it in your trash OR if concerned about deleting, dump it somewhere else (like your Desktop) where you can later retrieve, if necessary
  • Restart and see if the notification is gone!
  • Empty the trash if no problems are experienced from removing this file

What’s the Deal With These macOS Notifications Anyway?

As I recall, earlier versions of macOS or OSX did not have this constant notification nagging about updating your operating system. And after a bit of reading, it turned out my memory was indeed accurate.

Here’s what going on. According to Apple, for folks using OS X El Capitan v10.11.5 or later, “High Sierra conveniently downloads in the background, making it even easier to upgrade your Mac. When the download has completed, you receive a notification indicating that High Sierra is ready to be installed.”

Breaking that down for us laymen, Apple is by default actually downloading but NOT installing the latest macOS onto your system, without even asking you if you want it! That’s due to a setting in your App Store System Preferences that automatically download newly available updates in the background–AND notifies you when those updates are ready to be installed. It’s the second part of the process that’s responsible for those annoying upgrade notifications!

Change Your App Store Defaults

As mentioned, this automatic downloading in the background is set to ON by default when you install or update your macOS. Luckily, turning this setting off is painless and easy!

Turn Off Automatic Downloads in the Background

  • Open System Preferences (under the Apple icon at the top left)
  • Select App Store
  • Uncheck Download newly available updates in the background  How To Disable macOS High Sierra Upgrade Notifications
    • Make sure Install app updates and Install macOS updates are not checked
    • Leave install system data files and security update checked

Reader Tips 

  • If you get the macOS High Sierra Upgrade notification, just tap on Details. That opens the App Store app. Then simply close the app. Presto the High Sierra Notification is gone!  Apple says they are trying to make things easy when in fact they are making it way too complicated!
  • You can use the Terminal Command sudo mv /Library/Bundles/OSXNotification.bundle ~/Documents/ and then enter your admin password to confirm. Then restart your Mac. This Command surpresses all macOS Notifications moving forward
  • There isn’t any way to close, hide, or dismiss the High Sierra Upgrade Notifications. So instead, download the installer. When that installer window opens, close it instead of moving ahead with the High Sierra install. This means that all the installer files are in your Applications folder (for me, that’s just over 5GB of data.) I’ve gotten rid of that pesky notification by doing following those steps

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