Disabling Automatic App Updates in OSX Yosemite

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It’s been a while since I blogged and I’m happy to be back here. I’ve been composing the start of my “next post” for a couple of weeks now but I never thought it would be something as trivial as this. Ever since I got my Macbook, I’ve not been able to get my internet modem to work (I need to go to the nearest support centre for my Service provider, soon) and so I’ve been using the data on my LG smartphone.

I’m a pretty heavy data user (about 25gb a month in bandwidth consumption) and so I wasn’t surprised that I had to resubscribe my 2GB mobile data plan a few times over during the month of June.

Yesterday, however, something surprising (at the time) happened. I got a text from my network carrier that I had 200MB of data left. My macbook was connected to my phone’s hotspot but I was doing nothing on the internet, I was just going through some code trying to catch a bug. Less than 5 minutes after the first SMS, I got three more telling me I had 100MB then 10MB left and the last one told me I’d exhausted the data available on my plan.

At first, I thought the carrier must be nuts, but lo and behold, I noticed that my Launchpad icon had a bar underneath it that was about half full and then it hit me! The OS was installing updates behind my back (or in this case, right under my nose).

I opened up app store and went to the updates page and sure enough, I saw there there were updates available for the OS, XCode, iMovie and Parallels. XCode and iMovie had downloaded almost a third of the available size (about 600MB each). That’s when I realised that I had to turn off automatic updates.

Long story short, I followed advice provided here and in case it’s no longer available, I’ve taken the liberty of posting it here too.

It’s for OS X Mavericks but it worked for me too.

To change the App Store’s settings, head to System Preferences > App Store. Here, you’ll see a number of app-related options.

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While many users will still want the App Store to automatically check for new updates, and perhaps even download them in the background, users who want to determine when these updates are installed will want to uncheck the box next to “Install app updates.”

For users who want to keep automatic updates enabled, the Mac App Store features a new list that shows all updates installed in the last 30 days. Along with its iOS 7 companion, this list is the easiest way to keep track of which apps are getting updated on your Mac. Even if you disable automatic app updates, this list will remain in place, providing a handy history of your recent updates.