I just updated to macOS Sierra on one of my Macs and immediately encountered a problem: I was enrolled for beta downloads even though I had never enabled them on that machine. I’m guessing that there was an old download on that machine that somehow caused the App Store to enable the beta.
There’s a good reason why I don’t want the betas installed on that Mac: it’s the one that runs the version of macOS that most of my customers will be using. It’s also the machine that submits products to the App Store, and we all know how picky they can be about tool and OS versions.
There’s button in the App Store settings of System Preferences that lets you opt out of updates. The problem is that button doesn’t do anything if you’ve already checked for updates. This is very likely to happen since the first thing most people do after installing the new OS is open the App Store.
To turn off beta updates I first quit the App Store app and checked that there was a beta seed URL for Software Update using the Terminal:
$ sudo defaults read \ /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate CatalogURL https://swscan.apple.com/content/catalogs/others/index-10.12seed-10.12-10.11-10.10-10.9-mountainlion-lion-snowleopard-leopard.merged-1.sucatalog.gz
I then nuked it:
$ sudo defaults delete \ /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate CatalogURL
After getting off the beta, I then cleared the Software Update catalog with:
$ sudo softwareupdate --clear-catalog Changed catalog to Apple production
As I did that the App Store settings in System Preferences immediately showed “No check for software updates has been done yet”. Launching the App Store refreshed the catalog and did not show the beta update.
Yay. Time for a drink!