To get started, first open the System Preferences. From there, click on the App Store System Preference pane.
From the App Store System Preference pane, uncheck the following boxes:
- Automatically Check For Updates: Unchecking this box disables the download in the background option and the installation of app updates.
- Automatically Download Apps Purchased on Other Macs: If you buy an upgrade, you could accidentally install that upgrade on production servers you don’t intend to install the upgrade on.
You can also set these from the command line. To disable automatic app store updates:
defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.commerce AutoUpdate -bool FALSE
To disable automatic macOS updates:
defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.commerce AutoUpdateRestartRequired -bool FALSE
And to disable automatic Software Update update checks:
defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate AutomaticCheckEnabled -bool FALSE
Overall, be careful with automatic updates. I like leaving checking enabled so when I sit down at the console of a server I get prompted to update; however, I don’t want servers updating and restarting unless I tell them to, after I’ve performed a comprehensive regression test on the updates.