How To Turn Off Catalina Update Notifications (Prompts & Badges)

This short tip teaches you how you can disable Catalina upgrade notifications in the System Preference’s Dock icon and the ‘Upgrade Now’ prompt in the Software Update pane in macOS. You may want to do so, if you are not ready for the upgrade (such as Catalina compatibility issues etc) and if the notifications annoy you. These are just a few reasons why you’d want to stop macOS Catalina from showing up in Software Updates on your Mac. Since you want to disable this, you also would not want to see the red notification bubbles indicating that you have updates available. Do you also want to turn off upgrade notification badges in the dock? Then this article is for you.

How to Disable Update Notification in Software Update

Catalina update notification

This is very easy to do:

Please follow the steps:

1. Close the System Preferences app.

2. Open the Terminal app (Applications / Utilities; or you may use Spotlight)

3. Enter the following command and press enter. You may have to enter your password.

sudo softwareupdate --ignore "macOS Catalina"

4. Catalina Upgrade notice will disappear now. You will see the when you open System Preferences (Apple menu > System Preferences > Software Update)

However, you may want to undo this later when you are ready to upgrade. You can do so easily as well. Here is how:

1. Again open the Terminal app.

2. And enter the following command and hit enter (again you may have to enter your password):

sudo softwareupdate --reset-ignored

This will make Catalina Upgrade appear again.

How to disable Catalina Update Badge Notifications (the red bubble icon) in the dock

Settings Update Badge

1. Open the Terminal app.

2. Enter the following command and hit enter

defaults write AttentionPrefBundleIDs 0

3. Now you will need to restart the dock by entering the following command in the Terminal and pressing enter:

killall Dock

4. The dock will restart and you will not see the notifications badges.

See also: Notifications Disappearing From Lock Screen? Fix

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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14 thoughts on “How To Turn Off Catalina Update Notifications (Prompts & Badges)”

  1. Hmm. It did work under Mohave until I installed the latest security update.
    Now I get the message:
    Ignoring software updates is deprecated.
    The ability to ignore individual updates will be removed in a future release of macOS.


  2. As of 10.14.6 the command has been deprecated and no longer works. One can, it seems, click into System Preferences, Software Update, Advanced, and make sure to uncheck “Install macOS updates.”


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