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How to Disable Automatic App Updates in Mac OS X Mavericks

Posted by Jim Tanous on October 23, 2013
Mac App Store

After introducing the feature in iOS 7, Apple has brought automatic application updates to OS X. The new feature does exactly what you’d expect: automatically download and install application updates from the Mac App Store. While many users love the feature on their iDevice and have looked forward to it in OS X, power users may want to disable the feature. As we all know, sometimes application updates introduce critical bugs, remove features, or outright change parts of the app for the worse. For users who want to have exacting control over exactly what gets installed on their Mac and when, here’s how to disable automatic app updates in OS X Mavericks.
Automatic app updates are handled exclusively by the Mac App Store; your third-party non-App Store software won’t automatically update with Apple’s new feature. To change the App Store’s settings, head to System Preferences > App Store. Here, you’ll see a number of app-related options.
How to Disable Automatic App Updates in Mac OS X Mavericks
While many users will still want the App Store to automatically check for new updates, and perhaps even download them in the background, users who want to determine when these updates are installed will want to uncheck the box next to “Install app updates.”
For users who want to keep automatic updates enabled, the Mac App Store features a new list that shows all updates installed in the last 30 days. Along with its iOS 7 companion, this list is the easiest way to keep track of which apps are getting updated on your Mac. Even if you disable automatic app updates, this list will remain in place, providing a handy history of your recent updates.

10 thoughts on “How to Disable Automatic App Updates in Mac OS X Mavericks”

Engr. Mishuk Hasan says:
Thank you !!! I have waited for this kind of post !!! This is really a great post for me.
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Erik van der Neut says:
Ah, thanks for pointing out this is under Preferences / App Store and not under App Store / Preferences where I could not find it!
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dobobobo says:
Well, these days big companies want us to believe that everything should be “updated” and “replaced” urgently, from software to hardware. The time span that we are suposed to do so – diminished so much – that it becomes really a stupidity that is obvious. We all are so much brainwashed that we are all pushing that “update” button as soon as it lights up. What we are getting with it is nothing but troubles. The OS’es are becoming more and more ugly, un-usable, dumb. The hardware gets more and more un-reliable and crappy.
I’m using a 2007′ dual Xeon workstation with Mavericks on it and is working faster and more reliable than anything i saw or experienced in the last half of this decade. My GF is using the 2007 ‘white’ iMac with C2D with only 3GB of ram and Snow Leopard on top. She is a professional photographer and Photoshop CS6 works without any trouble. The white iMac was never re-formatted, re-installed or anything from the first day un-boxed. Please Apple and everyone else give us that “experience” back.
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Prof'Karl West says:
What I am concerned about is that my operating system wants to update next time I restart my computer. This is terrifying for me. I want to know how to stop it from updating the OS ever again. In fact, I wish I could get my old speedier computer back like when it was new…
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HippieComplex says:
This doesn’t work for me, either. I have a pending update, the Combined 10.9.5 mavericks update yet I had major system instability issues when running 10.9.5. So I fresh-formatted/re-installed and the version I had saved was 10.9.3 so I am sticking with that one. Yet there seems to be NO way to remove that stupid alert to update! I had to remove the App Store from my dock because they red 1 on it annoys the heck out of me. Come on, tekreview, tell us how to disable a specific update from annoying us!
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Cat Monkeywoman says:
None of the preferences work for me. I am constantly bombarded with that annoying window that I have updates. Is there a script or any other way to stop it from happening (besides updating)? I have clicked all the preferences in notifications and App Store and they do nothing.
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Vikram says:
thanks ! this helped a lot ..
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glasspusher says:
agreed, this kind of blows. I’ve got the app store trying to update remote desktop client, something I never use…try real hard not to turn into nagware, apple. I was kind of glad windows had a lock on that
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wadedorrell says:
Anyone know a way to disable automatic update for *specific* apps (I need to stay at Keynote 5, instead of taking Keynote 6, due to 6 visually corrupting many of our documents & auto-saving the changes.) rm -rf of /Applications/Keynote.app so that I can use /Applications/iWork ’09/Keynote.app instead doesn’t keep it away for long when automatic updates are on.)
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Canwegian says:
Thanks! Turned on automatic updates and instantly realized that I shouldn’t have done so. Better to update at a time that suits me…
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