Some Macs Auto-Updating to macOS Sonoma Without User Permission

Over the past few weeks, some Mac users have complained that their computer automatically upgraded itself from macOS Ventura to the latest macOS Sonoma release, even with the automatic updates setting turned off.

sonoma desktop wwdc
There are widespread complaints about this issue across the Apple Support Community, MacRumors Forums, Reddit, X, and other websites.

In most cases, it appears that affected users received a desktop notification alerting them that macOS Sonoma was an available software update. However, despite dismissing the notification and having automatic updates turned off, affected users said their Mac proceeded to install macOS Sonoma regardless. Apple began showing the notification to users on January 10, according to MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris.

The underlying cause of the issue is unclear, and an Apple spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It is possible to downgrade a Mac to an older macOS version by using a bootable installer to erase and install the older version and then restoring your data from a Time Machine backup. Always make sure to back up your data before downgrading a Mac.

To review your Mac's update settings, open the System Settings app, click General → Software Update, and click the info symbol next to Automatic Updates.

We will update this report if new information becomes available.

Related Roundup: macOS Sonoma
Related Forums: macOS Ventura, macOS Sonoma

Top Rated Comments

Bokito Avatar
5 weeks ago
This is very bad for businesses. We haven’t upgraded yet because a single application isn’t compatible yet. For 99% of the users I don’t think the Sanoma update causes problems, but for some it will. Hopefully Apple ads an easy way to revert to a previous macOS. It isn’t that hard.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacProFCP Avatar
5 weeks ago
Had this happen to me during a standard restart. VERY VERY displeased. I didn’t even bother complaining because Apple doesn’t care.

They have lost all moral high ground with their quest for money and power.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DJLC Avatar
5 weeks ago
Meanwhile, I can't get automatic updates to work even when I want them! I always have to manually "Update Now."

Apple's software QA really has fallen off a cliff.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bierre Avatar
5 weeks ago
Happened to me twice yesterday, the system recommended me to update to Sonoma with a notification hinting new stuff coming with it. But even if you dismissed the notification it would then ask for your password without explicitly saying you were actually going to install it. It's annoying because if you're in the middle of something you would not think that the system is trying to install it and you would type in your password. It's a risky operation especially for audio engineers that rely on lots of softwares.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ryterbandmusic Avatar
5 weeks ago
This happened to me last month in my music studio. I still wonder if it might have been user error, and I just didn't realize. In any case, it SUCKED. Time Machine restore on an 8TB drive took forever, and my main user account has been funky ever since. Had to create a new user last week to rectify. If this is happening because of a bug, that's very frustrating. It should be effortless and intuitive to avoid major updates. The livelihood of working professionals is partially dependent on insuring that there are no unwanted upgrades/updates. It can totally break a system (as it did for me).
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vegetassj4 Avatar
5 weeks ago
The Vision Pro goes on-line February 2, 2024. Human decisions are removed from software updates. Siri begins to learn at a geometric rate. She becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, February 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the lightning cable.



Attachment Image
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
General Apps Messages

iOS 17.4 to Add This 'Groundbreaking' New Messaging Feature

Friday February 23, 2024 5:05 am PST by
With iOS 17.4, set to arrive in March 2024, Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple. Let's break down what that means. Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but security...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...
iOS 17

When Will Apple Release iOS 17.4 for iPhones?

Friday February 23, 2024 11:56 am PST by
Apple has been beta testing iOS 17.4 for nearly a month now. Below, we explain when the update is likely to be released to all users. In its press release announcing major App Store changes in the EU, which were implemented in response to new regulations under the EU's Digital Markets Act, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released at some point in March:Developers can learn about these...
iOS 18 Mock Feature Baubles

iOS 18 Rumored to Have Design Changes, macOS Revamp Coming Later

Sunday February 25, 2024 8:55 am PST by
iOS 18 will likely include some design changes, but a macOS revamp might be a year or two away, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In his Power On newsletter today, Gurman said Apple is working to update the design of iOS as "early as this year." A sketchy rumor claimed that iOS 18 would feature some visionOS-inspired design elements, and while Gurman agreed that iOS could take some...