How to Stop Automatic and In-Progress Downloads on the Mac App Store


Automatic app updates can be annoying, especially if it affects your internet bandwidth. Here, we’ll teach you how to disable it on your Mac.

Many apps on the App Store are updated regularly to keep them bug-free and provide a superior customer experience. These updates are often necessary, so your Mac is set to download them automatically by default.

However, these automatic downloads can often slow down your internet speed and update apps you didn’t want to update. Here, we’ll teach you how to disable automatic updates or pause the in-progress downloads on your Mac.

How to Stop Automatic Downloads in the Mac App Store

To stop automatic downloads from the App Store, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Launch the App Store on your Mac (either from the menu bar or the Dock).
  2. From the menu bar, click on App Store and select Settings from the dropdown menu.
    App Store settings

  3. From the dialog box, uncheck the Automatic Updates option to stop App Store from downloading updates on its own.
    Turning off automatic updates

How to Pause or Cancel In-Progress Downloads in the Mac App Store

You can pause, resume, and cancel updates that are in progress or queued either through the App Store or Launchpad on the Mac.

Using the Mac App Store

  1. Open the App Store on your Mac.
  2. From the sidebar on the left, click the Updates tab.
    Updates tab in the App Store

  3. Here, you can see all the app updates that are either in progress or queued. If an app is being updated, you will see a progress circle next to it.

  4. You can click the progress circle to pause the download until you want to resume it—which you can do by simply the cloud icon that shows up when you pause it.
    Paused update on App Store

Using the Mac’s Launchpad

Whenever you’re installing software on your Mac, you can always check it through Launchpad. The same is the case for app updates. To check them:

  1. First, open Launchpad using the trackpad gesture (pinching your thumb and three fingers) or by clicking the Launchpad icon in the Dock.
  2. Now, swipe left or right to locate the app being updated.
    Downloading updates in Launchpad

  3. To pause the update, click the app’s icon. To resume it, click it again.
    Paused updates in Launchpad

Why You Should Avoid Pausing or Canceling App Updates

Though you may feel relaxed knowing none of your apps will randomly start updating, you must remember that these updates are vital for you and your Mac. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Bugs: Developers often roll out app updates to fix bugs that affected earlier versions of the app. If you skip updates, you may continue to experience these bugs or other issues.
  2. Features: Almost an equal number of app updates bring new features or improvements that enhance the user experience. By skipping updates, you may miss out on new functionality that could make using the app more enjoyable or efficient.
  3. Security: Many app updates include security patches that fix certain vulnerabilities. By not updating it, you can miss out on important security fixes that could leave your Mac at risk for malware.
  4. Compatibility: App updates often address compatibility issues with new hardware or software. You may update to a new macOS, but if all your apps remain of older versions, they may not work properly with the new operating system.

Through the App Store, you can also view the changelog for newer versions of the app. To do this, go to App Store > Updates, and locate and click the more button below available app updates. Here’s what recently available updates for Trello looked like:

Available updates for Trello

This way, you can better decide if a particular app is worth updating.

Updating Apps Improves Their Performance

Pausing, canceling, and stopping app updates on Mac App Store is easy. However, regular app updates ensure that the software remains stable and your Mac remains protected.

So, even if you’ve disabled automatic updates, be sure to manually update your apps every now and then to avoid running into issues or missing out on new features.


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