How to Reset the Ignored Software Updates List in Mac OS X

Jul 26, 2010 - Leave a Comment

Software update Did you accidentally ignore a Software Update in MacOS or Mac OS X and now you need to install it on a Mac? Perhaps you were putting off a specific update for one reason or another, and now it’s time to install that ignored or hidden update again onto Mac OS X.

Fortunately, getting the ignored updates back is really easy, as we will walk you through several different procedures that allow you to reset the ignored software updates list. You can do perform this task either though the Mac App Store, from the Command Line of Mac OS X with Terminal app, or for prior versions of system software, the older Software Update app. You can use whichever method is appropriate for your machine and version of Mac OS, or whichever you prefer.

How to Reset the Ignored Software Update List from Mac App Store in Modern Mac OS X Versions

For modern versions of Mac OS X, this is really just a matter of showing the ignored and or hidden updates in the App Store again.

  1. From the Mac App Store application, go to the “Store” menu and choose “Show All Software Updates”
  2. Now refresh the “Updates” tab by hitting Command+R to find the list re-populated with whatever software packages you had previously ignored, which can then be installed as usual onto the Mac through the App Store mechanism

This works in all modern versions of Mac OS X, from High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, etc.

How to Reset the Ignored Software Updates List from the Mac OS Terminal

Resetting the ignored Software Updates list from the command line is easy too, just launch the Terminal and type the following command:

softwareupdate --reset-ignored

This will immediately reset the entire ignore list and all of the ignored updates will become visible again, and works for both System Updates and Software Updates.

The Terminal approach to this is ideal for remote management situations, or for accessing in single user mode or safe boot on a Mac, where the typical Software Update mechanisms are not available to use.

Another bonus to the command line method is that it works in ALL versions of Mac OS X, regardless of whether they use the App Store Updates or the Software Updates method of pushing updates to the computer, the command line will do it all.

Resetting Software Updates from the Updates App in Older Versions of Mac OS X

If the version of Mac OS X is antiquated enough to have the Software Update app, like Snow Leopard and prior, you can use that updates application to reset the ignored update list.

From the Software Update app, click on the “Software Updates” menu and navigate down to ‘Reset Ignored Updates’, this reversed the ignore option in Snow Leopard that existed in these older versions of Mac OS X and will show the available software packages again. That’s all there is to it.

My personal preference is to use the Terminal approach with softwareupdate, which is a very powerful and useful command for advanced Mac users. The softwareupdate command allows you to install Mac OS system software updates from the command line as well as modify the available updates list and ignore others or reset that ignored list as discussed here, but using the command line is considered a bit more advanced and may not be applicable to all users.

Do you know of any other method of resetting the ignored software updates list in macOS or Mac OS X? Share with us in the comments below!

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Posted by: Bill Ellis in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

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