If you’re tired of the “Upgrade to macOS High Sierra” notifications nagging your Mac to install a system software update that you perhaps have made a conscious decision to avoid, then you will likely appreciate this tip to completely stop the upgrade macOS notifications.
As you likely know by now, there is no way to really dismiss the “Upgrade to macOS High Sierra” alert, there’s either an “Install” button which immediately attempts to install the update, or a “Details” button which launches into the App Store and also nudges you to install. There’s not a “Never” or “Ignore” option in the notification, which leads some users to believe there is no choice but to install the software updates presented. But that’s not the case, you can ignore the update and also get rid of the notifications bugging you to update.
Note this tip is specifically aimed at users who are not yet upgraded to macOS High Sierra and who specifically do not want to update to macOS High Sierra for whatever reason. This works on earlier versions of MacOS system software, including Sierra and El Capitan, and will likely work the same moving forward too.
This trick can be useful even if you have gone about preventing the macOS High Sierra automatic download from appearing on the computer, because even after blocking the installer from downloading to a Mac, some users still may see the “Upgrade to macOS High Sierra” notifications pop-up.
How to Permanently Disable “Upgrade to macOS High Sierra” Notifications on a Mac
This involves modifying a system level file. You should backup your Mac before proceeding. If you are not comfortable modifying system items and do not understand related risks, do not proceed.
- Go to the Finder in Mac OS and pull down the “Go” menu and choose “Go To Folder”, then enter the following path and choose Go:
- In the /Library/Bundles/ directory, look for “OSXNotification.bundle”, now you can either move it or delete it but we’re going to focus on moving it so that this can be easily undone
- Hold down the COMMAND key on the keyboard while clicking, dragging and dropping the “OSXNotification.bundle” file into a new location, like the user ~/Documents folder (for example, drag and drop it into the Documents folder within the Finder sidebar
- Because “OSXNotification.bundle” is a system file, you must authenticate with an admin user account to move this file, so login when requested
- When the file has successfully moved, close out of the /Library/Bundles/ folder and reboot the Mac for changes to take effect
Once the Mac has restarted, you will never see another “Upgrade to macOS High Sierra” notification again, as long as that .bundle file remains outside of the /Library/Bundles/ folder.
And yes, note the file to move is called “OSXNotification.bundle”, not “macOSNotification.bundle”. macOS, Mac OS, Mac OS X, tomato, to-maht-o. Same same, but different.
Completely Stopping “Upgrade to macOS High Sierra” Notifications via Command Line
If you prefer the command line, you can use the following syntax to disable the Upgrade notifications by moving the bundle file to the user Documents folder. Because the command line requires precise syntax for expected results, using this approach is generally only recommended for more advanced users:
sudo mv /Library/Bundles/OSXNotification.bundle ~/Documents/
Hit return and authenticate with sudo as usual, and then you can restart the Mac at any point to have the change take effect.
This approach is the exact same as outlined from the Finder, except it is handled through the command line, but the effect is the same in that it will completely stop those “Upgrade to macOS High Sierra” notifications entirely from appearing on the Mac.
How do I reverse this and get the “Upgrade to macOS High Sierra” Notifications back again?
If you ever want to reverse this so that you can be experience repeated “Upgrade to macOS High Sierra” notifications, then simply drag the “OSXNotification.bundle” file back into /Library/Bundles/ again, and then restart the Mac. Upon rebooting, the notifications to update macOS will return again.
You can also reverse the process via command line as follows, assuming the OSXNotification.bundle” file is in the ~/Documents folder.
sudo mv ~/Documents/OSXNotification.bundle /Library/Bundles/
Hit return and authenticate as usual for the change to reverse.
This obviously a somewhat dramatic approach, but if you’re avoiding High Sierra for some reason or another then it can be a valid method to stop the update haranguing, whether on your own Macs, a relatives, or other Macs under sysadmin control or otherwise being managed.
By the way, another much software and indirect approach is to place the computer into permanent Do Not Disturb mode to stop all notifications and alerts in Mac OS, but that will extend beyond just the system software updates and also stop all other alerts and notifications.