Apple Rolling Out Automatic Download of macOS Sierra



Starting today, the new macOS Sierra will be automatically downloaded on Mac computers that meet the requirements, The Loop is reporting. According to Apple, Mac users who have “auto update downloads” enabled, macOS Sierra will be automatically downloaded in the background for them. Users with older computers that do not meet the specs for macOS Sierra, will however not receive the download.

“Apple is also being smart about the download. If your computer is low on space, macOS Sierra will not download. In addition, if it has downloaded and your computer starts to get low on space, the download will be automatically deleted.

Of course, you can manually delete the download if you don’t wish to upgrade, and you can choose to manually download the update from the App Store at any time”.

It must be pointed out that this is not an automatic installer, which means that this process will only download the macOS Sierra update file in the background, and then alert you that it is available to install. 

The automatic download of macOS Sierra will be enabled randomly over the next week for its users.


  • Dehop

    Apple (and Microsoft, to be fair) for some reason assumes everyone is on an unlimited bandwidth internet plan. I was abroad, on wifi at an uncle’s place, when the iOS 8 upgrade decided to download in the background, it blew his monthly cap.

    macOS Sierra will be worse, because it’s much larger.

    At least give us the simple courtesy of a yes/no notification… “download X GB in background on wifi?”

  • swotam

    I’d assume that if you’re on a limited bandwidth plan that you wouldn’t have automatic downloads enabled, so this shouldn’t be an issue in that case. If you do have it enabled, might be a good idea to turn it off. You’ll still get notified that updates are available, so you can choose which to download and when.

  • Actually, when I was in the same situation two years ago (I was in Africa on cellular data when iOS 8 came out) my iPad automatically downloaded the whole OS install file while tethered to my phone. Automatic app downloads weren’t on, so I was wondering why it did that. I checked into it and there was NO WAY to turn it off. It just automatically downloaded a massive file without my permission. I think it cost me $10 or $15 in data (luckily I was on a local SIM card and not roaming). I was not happy.

  • swotam

    One thing to keep in mind is that when you tether the iPad to your phone, the iPad thinks it’s on WiFi which is one of the requirements for automatic downloading to occur. Still, that sucks.

    I’m always careful about tethering my iPad because of the “I think I’m on WiFi” thing. It can chew through a lot of cellular data because of that.

  • Yes, but because of this, and other WiFi setups that can be limited in their data allowance, there should be an option to turn off automatic downloads of a massive new OS. Perhaps it’s there now, but it wasn’t when I checked last.

    Additionally, since it’s an Apple device connecting to another Apple device, the iPad should be able to know that it’s connecting to an iPhone hotspot and turn off big automatic downloads like that.

    It’s something I can be more careful of in the future, but it’s often something you wouldn’t think of. If I’m visiting a friend in another country, I might ask them if I could borrow their phone’s connection to check email and Facebook, without remembering that I have automatic downloads turned on. Maybe a good option would be for automatic downloads to only run on select networks (when you turn on the feature it could ask you what networks it can download on).

  • Also worth noting that nearly every internet connection in the country I was in was through cellular, with specific data allowances. Many would have a device that had a SIM card in it and generate its own WiFi network. For those networks as well, even though it’s a “regular” home WiFi network for them, you would still want the option to not download a multiple-gigabyte file, that depending on your plan could cost you hundreds of dollars.

  • swotam

    Agreed, there should be an option in iOS to turn this off, and you would think that the iPad would know it’s tethered to a phone and be more respectful of data use. As far as I can tell, this isn’t an option currently.