How to hide annoying MacOS update notifications

It drives me crazy when I log into my MacOS Yosemite and Sierra systems and I’m quickly hit with an Apple “You have updates” notification. It’s like I just want to get to work, and I’m reminded of updates I don’t care about.

I just learned that you can hide some updates from annoying you, but I haven’t found a way to get rid of other updates.

Getting rid of (some) unwanted MacOS update notifications

It seems like you can at least hide some unwanted update notifications ... at least some update notifications that Apple doesn’t think are important. To get rid of those, go to the MacOS App Store, click the “Updates” tab (icon), and then when your updates are shown, right-click in the area next to an update and choose “Hide Update” from the popup menu.

As an example, I was able to hide all of the “Voice Update” notifications that are shown in this image:

How to hide MacOS update notifications

About those other update notifications ...

Unfortunately this only works for a select few update notifications. I don’t know how Apple decides which updates are important and which are not, but at the moment I could care less how many Keynote updates there are, but this technique doesn’t work on Keynote (or Pages, Numbers, Xcode, iMovie, iPhoto, etc.).

I read that you can follow these steps to hide their notifications, but it didn’t work for me:

  1. Open the MacOS App Store app.
  2. Click the Purchased tab (icon).
  3. Right-click in the open area next to an app and select the “Hide Purchase” option.

I just followed these steps with Keynote, but unfortunately the Keynote update notification is still there, so ... maybe this works on third-party apps, but it apparently doesn’t work with Apple apps.

MacOS App Store preferences

I should note that this is what my MacOS App Store preferences look like:

MacOS App Store preferences

I like to be notified of updates, but I don’t want them installed automatically. For example, why waste the time updating Keynote if I’m not going to be using it for the next five years? I do like to install security updates asap, but I still prefer to do that manually.

I wish there was a more granular notification of updates, but as of today it seems like you can only put them off for a day at a time.


I’ll write more about how to control MacOS update notifications as I learn about them, but this is what I know today.