Why won't Apple allow us to not upgrade to Big Sur without constant reminders?

That’s the same I see on my Mojave systems. And that’s bad for two reasons:

  1. It indicates there’s something to act on, but you know not really. So you learn to ignore those badges. Not a thing we want to learn.

  2. When there’s an actually important update you’d want, such as a security update, you won’t notice because all you’ll ever see is that one badge you’ve learned to ignore.

Can we get used to nuisance badges? Yes. Do we want to or should we want to? No. The proper fix is for Apple to reintroduce a “yes I know, now ignore” option. Just like they used to. It’s really not rocket science.


Security updates do show a notification in Notification Center - one of those that you can only dismiss by answering “install” or “later”. I haven’t missed a single one.


If you don’t click either button, but instead click on the notification’s body text, it dismisses itself and opens the App Store, without starting an installation or rescheduling the notification.

I do this all the time because I want to review everything before I install it and when there are multiple updates, I usually want to install them individually.


This is a lot of hand-wringing over a tiny white number in a red circle. Nonetheless, here are two workarounds for those who dislike it.

  • Remove the System Preferences icon from your Dock. There’s no reason it has to be there and System Preferences is always available from the Apple menu or via Spotlight (which can open individual preference panes directly).

  • Replace the System Preferences icon with an alias. I don’t know for certain that the alias won’t be badged, but I don’t think it will. I base this on the fact the App Store icon on my Dock is badged, but an alias to it is not (see below). Yes, that alias will have a little alias arrow in the lower-left corner. If that’s too upsetting to your eyes, I can imagine any number of alternative approaches that involve scripting or macros or whatnot that will let you have the picture-perfect icon on something that will launch System Preferences. (Get Info on an app like System Preferences, click the icon, press Command-C to copy, switch to the Info window for your workflow/macro/script/whatever, click the icon in that Info window, and then press Command-V to paste.)

    To make the alias, navigate to /System/Applications/ and start dragging the System Preferences item. Before dropping it, press and hold the Control key to make an alias when you drop it. Drag it to your Dock where you want it (and drag the old one off) and then move the alias somewhere that makes sense to you; perhaps /Applications/Utilities.


I couldn’t resist, but this whole discussion is really about this:




Ditto, except for (maybe) two things. First, I used to get reminders (on both Macs), but they have stopped. (I have no idea why or when.) Second, there is no upgrade badge on either Mac, not on System Preferences in the Dock and not on Software Update in System Preferences.

Gosh I hope I haven’t jinxed myself.

:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: So many 2019 versions I had to install because of this…fear… and 2016 came out in 2017! so its only been…3 years! Too short a rev…

A post was merged into an existing topic: Apple M1 Chip Powers New MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini

I can confirm that the alias is not badged on Mojave.

When I think about it Sys Prefs message could be contrary to Australian Consumer Law by using the word “upgrade” - for those of us who do not consider Catalina or Big Sur an improvement! :grinning:

That’s the same window I get “up” here in the USoA. Except ours is “right-side up”. I see yours as “upside-down”… could be a display problem converting your south-of-the-equator image? :upside_down_face: It might help if Apple would just add “Please”… :crazy_face:

What really bothered me was that my choices were to upgrade or learn more. I didn’t want to upgrade and I wasn’t going to learn more by clicking that button. I was relieved to find that I could open the Notification Center and close the popup from there. I just launched Word (which I very rarely do) and no popup appeared. I hope I haven’t jinxed myself.

Well, I did. Following a restart, the badge is on the icon in the dock and the icon in System Preferences. (And you can tell by the start of this post that I haven’t learned to keep my big keyboard shut.)

The upgrade to Catalina was so painful that I might never upgrade again. It was like a time warp to 25 years ago where I had to rebuild my mac every day

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Turns out this is possible, but only for Macs enrolled in MDM. I don’t know if there’s a way to simulate this for an individual’s Mac.

Interesting. Will try it when the update appears. Possibly tonight? :sweat_smile: :sweat_smile:

I’m seeing the badge now in Catalina.

What I don’t know is how you’ll enroll your Mac in MDM. That’s the prerequisite.

Apparently this MDM is only for iPhones and iPads if I read Apple’s documentation correctly. There is a whole big document on the Apple Site about it.

Then there is this message from Terminal:

Software Update can only ignore updates that are eligible for installation.
If the label provided to ignore is not in the above list, it is not eligible to be ignored.
Ignoring software updates is deprecated.
The ability to ignore individual updates will be removed in a future release of macOS.
johngregoryturner@JohnGregorys-iMac ~ %

The update is here and I am getting requests to update. Oh well, I am not going to do it until I have some sense that it might be safe to do so and that I am not going to have to trash anymore of my favorite software. Frankly, Apple is going to have to go out of its way to convince me after the trouble with Catalina. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

No, that’s not true. MDM is used for managing Macs in large organizations, with solutions like Jamf Pro, Addigy, Mosyle, Kandji, FileWave, and so on.

The closest I can think of to a personal-level solution at the moment would be Jamf Now, which is $2 per month per device.

Or perhaps Apple Configurator 2?

In general, MDM falls into the category of “If you don’t understand it, don’t mess with it.” I think you’d be better off just taking System Preferences off your Dock or making an alias like I suggested before.

MDM seems possible for all Apple products(?). But there are Big League conditions and I do not fit into them. I am finished with this discussion as it seem to have no resolution except to be very careful if you do not want to update to Big Sur to not turn on auto-update. The Red Badge is going to appear as will the reminders. I have gotten two reminders since 4PM.

See Apple’s total discussion about MDM.MDM restrictions for iPhone and iPad devices - Apple Support)

I have a small script in my local bin folder.


defaults write com.apple.systempreferences AttentionPrefBundleIDs 0
killall Dock

I can’t remember where I found the clues for that but I run it whenever a “nudge” appears in the Dock. I call it:

$ shut_the_hell_up_about_catalina

Granted, I’m still (happily) running Mojave on my workhorse iMac, and High Sierra on my laptop. I have zero plans to upgrade either. I’ve long since lost interest in Apple’s annual merry-go-round, not to mention the small circus that flows from that - Parallels updates anyone?

Lagging behind by several years = a quiet, happy life.

In fact, I’m so utterly sick-to-death of the constant iDevice nagging that my next phone and tablet will not be made by Apple. I’ve been a card-carrying Apple user and spruiker for over 30 years. “Any colour so long as it’s Cupertino”. But the corporate arrogance has finally crossed my line in the sand.

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