Ask LH: How Can I Stop My Mac Updating When I’m On Holidays?

Hey Lifehacker, Overseas data charges are expensive, so I want to stop all my MacBook apps from checking for updates while I’m away and wasting precious data. I know this can be done on an app-by-app basis, but that is rather tedious, especially when it has to be re-enabled on return. Any way of doing this on a system-wide level? Thanks, Mac Mover

[credit provider=”Sergey Galyonkin” url=””]

Dear MM,

It is indeed possible to batch-disable automatic updates on Macs running OS X. Here’s OSX Daily with the skinny on how it’s done:

    Stop OS X Mountain Lion from Automatically Downloading App and OS X Updates:
  • Open System Preferences from the Apple menu
  • Select “Software Update” and click the lock icon to unlock the preferences
  • Uncheck “Download newly available updates in the background”

If you hate being pestered by update alerts, you can also uncheck “Automatically check for updates” which will disable the function completely. However, you’ll then need to periodically check for updates manually; something that is easily forgotten about. Hope this helps!


Got your own question you want to put to Lifehacker? Send it using our [contact text=”contact form”].

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


One response to “Ask LH: How Can I Stop My Mac Updating When I’m On Holidays?”