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Clearing macOS Update Notification Badges

krnsk0 profile image Jon Kurinsky ・1 min read

Are you a macOS user holding off on upgrading to Catalina because you don't want to break your 32-bit applications? Do you find Apple's update reminders intrusive?

OSX has long provided a GUI for controlling permissions for badge notifications in the dock (System Preferences / Notifications / {application name} / Badge App Icon). But this interface doesn't allow disabling badge notifications from the System Preferences application.

The softwareupdate command has an --ignore option which will prevent System Preferences from showing you Catalina: sudo softwareupdate --ignore "macOS Catalina. To undo this, when you're ready: sudo softwareupdate --reset-ignored. But this doesn't clear the badge notification in the dock.

Stack Overflow user Wyatt8740 provides a solution: defaults write com.apple.systempreferences AttentionPrefBundleIDs 0, after which you'll need to restart the dock with killall Dock.

This works only until the next time the update checker runs, but it's easy enough to alias these commands: alias clearbadge="defaults write com.apple.systempreferences AttentionPrefBundleIDs 0 && killall Dock".

It's of course possible to turn off update checking, but I'm not going to do this because I want Mojave security updates. It's also possible to change the permissions on com.apple.systempreferences to make the update checker unable to edit the file (sudo chown root:wheel ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.systempreferences.plist
), but this might have unforeseen consequences. So, for now, I'm periodically manually clearing the notification using the aliased command.

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Jon Kurinsky

@krnsk0

Thing-builder, problem-solver @ IKEA

Discussion

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Hi Jon, I have recently updated from Mojave to Catalina but have a weird situation where System Prefs says there is 1 update available and shows a red 1 notification too.
However, there IS no update. The OS is totally up to date. How do i get rid of that?

 

I'm having this exact same issue.

 

Same here! I decided to take the plunge into Catalina last night, and I noticed the red badge still there, taunting me, this morning. Any solutions?

This command worked for me in the terminal box.... defaults delete com.apple.systempreferences AttentionPrefBundleIDs; killall Dock

 

This command worked for me in the terminal box.... defaults delete com.apple.systempreferences AttentionPrefBundleIDs; killall Dock

 

This command worked for me in the terminal box.... defaults delete com.apple.systempreferences AttentionPrefBundleIDs; killall Dock

 

Hi, Jon, i don't want to update to Catalina, yet. as i usually wait for software compatibility issues.
When i tried to update the latest 10.14.6 (currently running 10.14.3) it says it need to be run on MacOS APFS

However, i cant convert my current external SSD to APFS.

I use iMac Late 2013, running macos 10.14.3 using external SSD .

What should i do?