Policy to Disable Automatic Updates?

Not applicable

Hi, this is my first post to the Casper list. I'm hoping someone else has already got an easy answer documented.

We want a series of policies that disables/turns-off automatic updates for:

- Apple Software Update
- Microsoft Office (2004 and 2008)
- Adobe Creative Suite (CS3 and CS4)

Does anyone already have an existing script or solution?


~Craig Swanson

Phone: 206-682-4315
Email: help at creativetechs.com
Web: www.creativetechs.com
Tagline: Left-brain support for Right-brain Pros.


Valued Contributor

Test this, I'm writing it from memory.

Software Update:
defaults -currentHost write com.apple.SoftwareUpdate AutomaticDownload -bool

Office 2008:

defaults write com.microsoft.autoupdate2 HowToCheck -string "Manual"

I don't recall Adobe or Office 2004 offhand.

Miles A. Leacy IV

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Not applicable

Thanks Miles,

We'll test and post the results.




Personally i use WGM to point my software update to a non existent
address, as a managed preference.

For office and adobe i delete the update tools, that way they never run,


Criss Myers
Senior Customer Support Analyst (Mac Services)
Apple Certified Technical Coordinator v10.5
LIS Business Support Team
Library 301
University of Central Lancashire
Preston PR1 2HE
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01772 895054

Not applicable


We just tested this. Setting AutomaticDownload turns off the background downloading, but does not stop the user notification of new updates. Here is the solution we found that looks like it will work for now. The softwareupdate binary seems to provide a number of controls, including the ability to turn off the schedule:

softwareupdate --schedule off

Thanks for your help. We are working on testing Word and hunting for Adobe updates next.


Not applicable

Miles, We just tested this, and it appears to work perfectly. And I can add a couple more details.

To turn off Microsoft AutoUpdate for Office 2004:
defaults write com.microsoft.autoupdate HowToCheck -string "Manual"

To turn off Microsoft AutoUpdate for Office 2008:
defaults write com.microsoft.autoupdate2 HowToCheck -string "Manual"

And as an interesting aside, there are two separate update utilities. The 2004 update utility is "Microsoft AutoUpdate" is generally loose in Applications, while the 2008 update utility is tucked away in Library/Application Support/Microsoft/MAU 2.0/


Valued Contributor II

I've been working on this for Office 2011, and I came across this post. If anyone is wondering, the string command needs .plist added to it. This worked for Office 2011

defaults write com.microsoft.autoupdate2.plist HowToCheck -string "Manual"