Don’t Want to Update your Mac to OS X Yosemite? Hide the Update from the App Store

Nov 23, 2014 - 60 Comments

Hide the OS X Yosemite update from the Mac App STore

While many Mac users have updated to OS X Yosemite, a notable amount have chosen to stay on OS X Mavericks or Mountain Lion for a variety of reasons, and some have even had to downgrade due to frustrations or incompatibilities that were experienced with the new version of OS X. Whatever the reason, if you’re wanting to stick on a previous version of OS X that you are happy with, you should probably hide the Yosemite update so that you don’t accidentally install it.


Choosing to hide the Yosemite update also makes the rather large OS X Yosemite banner disappear from the App Store on your Mac, which makes it easier to see your other app updates again, and it also makes it so the large banner is no longer taking up most of the “Updates” screen in the Mac App Store.

This is not permanent, and it can be reversed at any time if you change your mind.

Hiding the OS X Yosemite update installer from the Mac App Store is really easy

  1. Open the App Store as usual in OS X, then visit the “Updates” tab
  2. Right-click (or control+click) on the large OS X Yosemite banner and choose “Hide Update”

Hide OS X Yosemite installer from App Store

By the way, if you’re holding out with an older version of iTunes or a prior version of any other app, you can repeat the same process for hiding the newer versions of those app updates as well.

Once the update has been hidden, the large blue OS X Yosemite banner disappears and you’ll get a normal view of the App Store again from the Updates tab:

Hidden Yosemite installer in App STore

This will not impact future updates that become available to the currently installed and running version of OS X (unless you specifically hid those as well). For example, if you’re running OS X Mavericks and want to stay with 10.9.5, and you choose to hide the OS X Yosemite update, the Mac App Store will continue to show all forms of updates if and when they become available to the active OS X version.

Hiding a major OS release like this works the same way as you would hide and unhide any update that’s available in the Mac App Store, even if it’s just for another app.

This should also stop the nagging software update notifications from popping up to advertise the OS X Yosemite update as being available, though you may want to take that a step further and either disable the App Store notifications, or at least turn them off temporarily if it does pop up again.

And yes, as previously mentioned, this can be reversed. If you decide later that you do want to install OS X Yosemite, perhaps after OS X 10.10.2 is released, a particular bug or issue that bothered you is resolved, or maybe after an essential app you rely on has been updated to insure compatibility, you can always choose to download the OS X Yosemite system update from the Purchases tab again, which will begin the installation process when finished. As always, back up your Mac before installing any system updates.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

60 Comments

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  1. Philip says:

    Perfect.

    No, Apple, I do not want your buggy mess of Yosemite on my perfectly good Mac. I’ll stick with OS X Mavericks until you sort out that pile of junk.

    • linda frisch says:

      How can I update to Mavericks—and not Yosemite? We have Snow Leopard currently

      • CK says:

        I’d keep Snow Leopard, if I were you ask it runs older PPC applications and is perfectly adequate. A more modern OS will not run these.

    • Raven says:

      It’s not buggy at all. I’ve even been running the public betas. I find it as stable as Mavericks, and a little bit faster.

      • chuanist says:

        Apple is not making Mavericks available in the App store. By insisting that you use the product they have decided you should use, they are behaving more and more like all the other corporations in the world you’d rather not do business with.

        That leaves the option of finding someone who has the installer file … or downloading it from a torrents web site. Illegal, morally questionable, but do-able all the same.

        • GetReal says:

          Wasn’t Maverick also a free upgrade? If that’s the case then there shouldn’t be any ” Illegal, morally questionable, but do-able all the same.” issues with downloading it which ever way you can find it.

    • fltnsplr says:

      Perfect – your comment as well, sir. I foolishly clicked on the amazing absolutely free blockbuster smash hit Yosemite button a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been paying the price ever since. In fact, I may have to pay the local computer gurus to help me revert to Mavericks. “Buggy mess of Yosemite” – that’s priceless!

    • mgwart says:

      Is there any way to upgrade from 10.6.8 snow leopard to mavericks instead of yosemite?

  2. Pete says:

    Any way to do this in Terminal via a defaults write command?

    • Paul says:

      Yes, you can ignore updates from the command line, no defaults command required.

      Get the exact name of the package with:

      softwareupdate -l

      then use the ignore command:

      softwareupdate --ignore (packagename)

      Just be sure the syntax is correct.

      • ron wells says:

        I think you meant -l not -1
        And I realized you need to right click on the large Yosemite picture at the very top, not the O with the x in it..

      • Pete says:

        Thanks.

        But the Yosemite update does not show up when I run ‘softwareupdate -l’ in 10.9.5. Does it have to be loaded via AppStore first?

      • gskibum says:

        This Terminal command does not work for me.

        I’ve tried on 3 different Mavericks systems, all fully patched, and the Yosemite update is not revealed with softwareupdate -l

  3. Mike says:

    Doesn’t work here. OS 10.6.8 and App Store 1.0.2.

    • FarmerBob says:

      Same here. But I am also running 10.6.8, 10.9.5 & 10.10.1 on different partitions and not only have I been seeing partitions share Trash Cans, now I’m getting update notifications for 10.9.5 in 10.6.8. So I would really love to get rid of the notifications. I tried in 10.9.5 and the App Store wouldn’t connect.

  4. Mishendr says:

    “…pile of junk..”? What the hell are you talking about?! 10.10 is running fine (Mac mini 2009). Be specific, mention your problems. Maybe someone can help you, try a clean install.

    • hogwrassler says:

      Hi Mishendr:

      I reversed to Mavericks ten days or so after heavy duty battling with Yosemite. Specific problems? Too many to chase down and record. The first one was repetitive unannounced shut downs several times per session, then there were many unspecified bugs tat affected my ability especially to use Pages. Yosemite did NOT work fine!
      I successfully and easily migrated back to Mavericks using advice I found in discussion forums, but I don’t remember which one.

      iMac (mid 2010)
      Mavericks 10.9.5
      4 GB
      3.06 Intel core i3

      iPhone 5c OSX8.1.1 (late 2014)

      iPad 7.1.2 (late 2013)

      • Philip says:

        I also upgraded back to OS X Mavericks, or as some call it, reverted from Yosemite back to OS X Mavericks, but getting a usable OS is an upgrade in my book.

        * Wi-Fi is unreliable

        * Mail is unreliable

        * Networking is unreliable

        * Safari is unreliable

        * The new system font causes eye strain within minutes of use

        * The interface looks like it’s from McDonalds

        * Text is blurry

        I have work to do Apple, I don’t have time to fiddle with this amateur hour beta and try to make it usable. That’s YOUR JOB Apple, that’s why we pay you the big bucks for this expensive hardware.

        All of this is valid with OS X 10.10.1, and, as expected, no differences were found in OS X 10.10.2 b1 either so don’t hold your breath for any of this to be fixed from Apple.

        • Fred says:

          I’m running Yosemite on multiple two Mac Pros, a 17″ MacBook Pro, a 13″ MacBook, and a Mac Mini. All are probably operating in a much more demanding environment than you have. I’m using Time Machine to back up my primary Mac Pro, which has four internal hard drives (1TB SSD, 240GB, SSD, 4TB enterprise drive, and 4TB desktop-class drive), over a gigabit network traversing multiple switches to a 5 x 3TB RAID 6 NAS. I don’t have any of the problems you say that you have.

          I have no problem with the system font causing eyestrain. It looks sharp and clear to my 53 year old eyes. I just got my eyes checked on Friday and they are corrected to 20/20.

          As to your “interface looks like it’s from McDonalds” comment, I started developing software and user interfaces several years before the Mac ever came to market and I find that the Yosemite interface is attractive and a significant improvement over Mavericks. ARS Technica: “Switching back to Mavericks after a week or two in Yosemite is like returning to iOS 6. Everything looks embarrassingly chunky, glossy, and gaudy.” Apple’s team of GUI designers are the finest in the industry. So, unless you have some hitherto undisclosed GUI design expertise, we’re going to have to assume that Apple, ARS Technica, and I all know more about GUI design than you do.

          • Philip says:

            Well Fred, since you personally have perfect vision and don’t get eye strain from reading the size 8 light grey text everywhere in OS X Yosemite, I guess that discounts everyone elses complaints. Your work here is done Fred, your Macs and eyesight are perfect and therefore nobody else has any problems at all! Bravo Fred, you saved the world! Thanks for clearing up all the millions of complaints with OS X Yosemite, they are all forgotten now!

          • Fred says:

            Philip, my vision is far from perfect. I’m required to wear glasses to drive and have a different pair for reading.

            There are “millions of complaints” about every major OS upgrade regardless of platform. That doesn’t mean that the complaints are valid. There were massive complaints about Mavericks and now you seem to think it’s a real gem.

            For example, your ‘looks like McDonalds’ comment about the GUI seems to have no support from people who really have real expertise in such matters. Your allegations about the supposed unreliability of the networking don’t seem to be supported by any evidence.

            Sorry if that makes you mad, but so far all I see from you is a bunch of foot stomping and hollering — nothing of substance.

          • Raven says:

            I agree. I’m 57. I have terrible eyesight. I have no problems seeing the fonts. I do wear reading glasses.

            I’ve bee running 10.10 since the public betas on an early 2009 24” iMac. I also run the public betas of Mavericks.

            It’s rock solid on my system, and I do use it for demanding work, like photo editing in Photoshop CC 2014, and recording multi track audio in Pro Tools 9 and Cubase 7.5. I also run SolidWorks in Parallels running Windows 7.

            Regarding Yosemite, I think the interface is clean and refreshing. I’m been using Macs since 1994, and have used every version of the OS, including System 7.7 (pre OS 8), but excluding the OS X Public Beta.

            OS X’s Aqua interface was getting old. All that shiny stuff was looking really dated. I enjoy the flatter look. I will say I’m not a fan of the new Finder icon. I don’t care for the colors and the proportions are wrong. So I replaced that.

            But seriously, you can’t use a computer because the icons are a brighter color now? lol

  5. ! says:

    I realized on OS X 10.10, you can’t ignore an update.
    Do you know any way to ignore it?

  6. Denus says:

    Well, a pile of junk is not the correct term, but let’s face it: a lot of users have issues with Yosemite.
    My old Macbook Air was running fine on it, but my iMac 27′ end 2012 was bugged as hell (video driver, missing or greyed-out functions, issues with Youtube or Facebook video etc…)
    A clean install makes it worse for some reason.

    So many things went wrong that I went back to Mavericks.
    I really hope for a major update to make things right, but until then no Yosemite for me….

  7. Bill says:

    Have Yosmite on an iMac – it’s great.
    Made a mistake installing on a MacBook Pro with only 2 GB of Ram.
    IS THERE A WAY TO GO BACK TO MAVERICKS? IF SO, WHAT IS THE PROCESS?

  8. TonyC says:

    Bless you for helping us avoid this hideous looking monstrosity. :-)

  9. Jeff says:

    The article mentions doing the same with iTunes 12, iTunes 12 doesn’t offer that option when you ctrl-click?

    I tried the shell command;

    softwareupdate –ignore iTunesX-12.0.1
    Password:
    Ignored updates:
    (
    “iTunesX-12.0.1”
    )

    iTunes still refuses still to be ignored. What am I missing?

  10. I’m new in the world of Apple, and I keep hearing disheartening things about new OS and their updates for iMacs, iPhones, etc this last one year or so. Were these problems and discontent always there until all bugs were fixed after a new OS was released, or do you think the company’s reliability has deteriorated post-Steve Jobbs? I’m wondering whether I’ve moved to Apple too late. I still find it the best product I’ve ever used though. Honest opinions from objective old-timers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot.

    • Dave McCurdy says:

      I have been a power user of Windows for decades and have had a MacPro for years.
      Up to Mavericks, I have preferred the Mac, even though I use Windows for business.
      Since Mavericks, i am wondering if Windows will run on my Pro… ( Self-inflicted)
      Where has the QA gone?
      Or is this another Apollo situation, launch on schedule, even though there are outstanding issues?
      Apple, you are in danger of losing your mojo!

      • Dave McCurdy says:

        Sorry, my ‘self inflicted’ comment is obscure.
        I was a QA manager for Dow Jones for years. I would had NEVER released Mavericks as it is today, much less when it was released. Unfortunately, someone told me it was great, so I installed it. Yes, it has some very good features that I like. but I would have never suffered the functional instability.
        Issues: Mail, Calendar, iTunes. …
        Programers will have bugs and its the job of QA to identify these before release.
        Up to Mavericks, Apple was stellar; I trusted it.
        What I do not understand is that there are automated tests that identify regression. We even had these in 1969. Why this buggy software and why Yosemite before Mavericks is stable?
        (In software terms, this is like the banking crisis. They consider that they are too big to fail, and that’s bad)
        GIVE UP, the banks, government and now Apple are
        in a new paradigm…

        • Lesorton says:

          I have always admired Apple. I bought my first macbook second hand in 2009 (an early 2002 Macbook) I used this for years with no problems at all. Got another second hand Macbook pro (2011 model). in 2014 with Mavericks. What a difference to Snow Leopard. I didn’t like it, and still prefer Snow Leopard. Things don’t work as well as the all Macbook. This is not rose tinted glasses looking at the past as I still use the old Macbook now and then, and of the two I prefer the old Macbook.
          I personally think when Steve passed away, so did Apple. He would not have allowed a lot of things that are going on now at Apple, no disrespect meant for the people who work there.
          Thats my 2 pence worth.

  11. Stijn says:

    I have a macbook pro since last year. Find no problems running on Yosemite but appreciate tips for reinstalling a backup from time machine.
    Can anyone tell me how i can manually backup my i tunes content like playlists and iphone backup on my computer?

  12. Trace says:

    Thank so much for this tip. I was so tired of being told about Yosemite. I am quite happy with Mavericks and won’t be updating anytime soon.

  13. David says:

    I would prefer to quit Mac Univers, then install that Horrible & instable OSX on my Mac’s, since i am a Mac User , i never see a unfinished & untested OS like Yosemite !

    Well, Yosemite is the “VISTA” of Apple !

    in final, you see, Apple we loose a lot to do not ear them Customers !, because here it’s not a simple issue can be fixed by a simple patch ! is more than that ! it’s an Apple Internal political issue !

    To want to mix to much Idevices & Mac Computers, they will loose a lot, that effect not be visible now….but in couples of years….maybe months…but that’s sure, even with all the Bilon of $ they have !

  14. Pete says:

    Thanks.

    But the Yosemite update does not show up when I run ‘softwareupdate -l’ in 10.9.5. Does it have to be loaded via AppStore first?

  15. ramz says:

    Good tip! For me Mountain Lion works great and I want to keep this OS as far as I can. It has no bugs and has an excellent battery life. With Mavericks or Yosemite I can’t go too far without my charger.

  16. SammyD says:

    Yosemitie is working fine on my two MacBooks. In terms of usability, I find it better than Mavericks.
    The only problem I had was with the trackpad on my 2009 MacBook. Doing a reset has fixed it.
    No WiFi problems at all.
    I guess the problems are not all down to Apple.

    • matt says:

      me too I have a mac book pro with retina I have barr any bugs since the first developer preview I donlaod that some one post right after wwdc that was buggy and unable

  17. Bob-s says:

    I was able to hide yosemite, but can’t get iTunes 12 to hide.

    I typically wait at least 6-9 months to upgrade an operating system, been doing this since the late 80’s. I’m really behind these days, only upgraded to Mavericks a few months ago from rock solid Snow leopard, had some legacy software & hardware had a hard time saying bye too.

  18. shpankey says:

    These Yosemite hardcore defenders always looking to argue (as if it’s provable, lol) that Yosemite is perfect and better for all of us than Mavericks, Mountain Lion, etc. just crack me up. Seriously, some of us have had issues, some major issues, some just don’t like Yosemite or the way it looks or some combination of all of the above. Get over yourself… you sound and look like Apple shills defending the empire.

  19. shpankey says:

    …if you like Yosemite, great, move on and enjoy. But it’s quite tiring to constantly read how someone’s opinion of how Yosemite looks or works is wrong, as if that’s possible. It’s a freaking opinion. Grow up.

  20. Joe says:

    Yosemite ran fine on a 11″ 2010 MacBook Air but I just didn’t like it. Apple has added so much stuff to OS X that I just don’t care for. I’m still happy with Snow Leopard. It’s not a resource hog and quite snappy. I just hope my MacBook Air keeps running, else I just may go back to Windows.

    • P Minz says:

      Got Lion on my MacBook and Mountain Lion on my MacBook Pro – Not gonna Up date either! I see how bad iOs 7 and 8 are and do not wish to cripple any of my Work Machines. I do loads of work on Lion and Mt Lion, that I can’t be out of work with Up dating just for the sake of Change. Reliability is paramount.

  21. Mead says:

    Everyone, it’s just an OS X version. If you like it, great, upgrade to OS X Yosemite! If you don’t like it, great, stay with OS X Mavericks!

    Yes there are bugs, yes it’s buggier than your average OS X release, yes the font is awkwardly thin if you’re used to Lucida Grande, but these are probably all bugs that will get worked out over time.

    So if you like OS X as is, stay put, if you want Yosemite, update. No big deal. Do what works for you.

  22. P Minz says:

    It is not “just an update” when one looses the ability to run expensive software and hardware, I barely make ends meet! This “minimum” kick Apple is on makes work straining!

  23. Icebox says:

    Is there a way to hide the update in iOS. I don’t want to update to iOS 8.1.1 on my iPad (in case I want to jailbreak for f.lux app) and also iOS 8.1 works just fine on my iPad 4. I really don’t want to chance it considering Apple’s recent track record of update bugs.

  24. GraemeP says:

    I have tried Yosemite on older core duo and core 2 duo machines and I have deleted it in all cases. BUT it works perfectly fine on my Macbook Air core i7 with 8Gb RAM. I would definitely not use it on anything less than a core i5. I’m currently running it off a SanDisk Extreme Pro SD Card 32Gb so I can get a good feel of it before I commit my whole machine. A SSD (Look for minimum 500m/bs read/write rate though) also really speeds things up if you have a slower machine. Cheers.

  25. scott says:

    Re battery life: If you had better battery life w/ Mountain Lion than w/ Yosemite, it may be time to buy a new battery.

    Re interface: I hate the Mavericks/Yosemite font, too. You can fix it. See here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1768362

    Re annoying notifications: I completely turned off the Notifications app using Onyx, which is now available for Yosemite.

    Re Safari complaints: Of course. Switch to Firefox.

    I think the changes to OS X are gradual attempts to create more overlap with iOS. You might not see this as adding value; hopefully the value will become more apparent with future “upgrades.” Meanwhile, there are several apps in AppStore that I am very glad to have. And all the problems I had after installing Mavericks and then Yosemite have been solvable. Try the Genius Bar. My experience is that they are very fair about not charging for fixing problems that aren’t my fault. (It helps to have a warranty, of course.)

  26. Duncan says:

    Doesn’t seem to work for me unfortunately. I’ve tried everything, next stop is looking for the mechanics in the system that make this work and disabling them.

  27. Carlos garcia says:

    What if I want to hide an app but the x isn’t showing up?

  28. Bruno Sammartino says:

    Hiding the update works fine — until the next time I open the App Store — and it’s there again.

  29. Michelle says:

    I have just updated to yosemite and its awful, I didn’t have time machine backup, am I now stuck with this horrible thing that is hurting my eyes?

  30. Tom says:

    Let’s not fool ourselves. So far as flexibility and ease of use are concerned it has been all downhill since Snow Leopard (10.6.8)

    Apple does not “improve” OS X every year for the benefit of its users. It does it to:

    1) Make your existing hardware unbearably slow
    2) Change APIs so that 3rd party vendors cannot afford to support their applications on both the latest versions of OS X and older versions
    3) Totally obsolete some older software (e.g. Power PC programs that will run via Rosetta on Snow Leopard)
    4) Reduce your control of your machine
    5) Make it more and more like IOS, so that the kids that like to play with their iPhones have a similar experience on their PCs, and those of us that rescued Apple in the early 2000’s by buying their new iMacs and new OS X (back then it was a sensible choice) are stuffed

    It is worse than the article suggests. Apple goes out of its way to PREVENT you from running 10.6.8. For example I can run it in an emulator, except that the licence says I can’t and the emulators recognise when I am trying to run 10.6.8 and disallow it. I could also build a “Hackintosh” but that would also violate the license which only allows OS X to be run on Apple hardware.

    So when my present 2007 vintage iMac fails irreparably I can either break the terms of the license or stop using Apple.

    PC systems were still a mess when I abandoned them in 2000, but I now wish I had jumped ship to Linux. I never expected Apple to start treating long-standing customers so badly.

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