Like its predecessors, macOS Sierra is a free update for all users with compatible Macs. Apple prides itself on strong user adoption of its latest operating systems, and so it advertises the macOS Sierra upgrade in the Mac App Store.
Users with Macs which meet Sierra’s system requirements will see a large banner advertising the Sierra upgrade at the top of the Updates section of the Mac App Store. This makes it easy for users to learn about and install Sierra, but it can be annoying for those interested in sticking with their existing version of OS X. Thankfully, it’s easy to hide the macOS Sierra banner in the Mac App Store.
To do so, simply head to the Updates section in the Mac App Store and right-click (or Control-click) on the Sierra banner. An option labeled Hide Update will appear. Select it and the Sierra banner will be removed.
So what happens if you want to upgrade to macOS Sierra in the future? Just head to the Featured section of the Mac App Store and find Sierra listed in a prominent location in the sidebar.
You can also always search for Sierra using the App Store’s standard search field. As long as your Mac is compatible, you’ll be able to download and upgrade to Sierra regardless of whether or not you hid the banner in the Updates section.
Why You May Want to Download macOS Sierra Even If You Don’t Plan to Upgrade Right Away
There are many valid reasons why some users would choose to delay upgrading to the latest versions of Apple’s operating systems. If you think you might ever want to upgrade in the future, however, you may still want to download the Sierra upgrade anyway, even if you don’t plan to actually install it now.
Here’s why: Apple now distributes all of its software digitally via the Mac and iOS App Stores. For the sake of simplicity, the company doesn’t officially distribute old versions of its operating systems once the new versions are available. Those who have downloaded the upgrade in the past can still access the old versions via the Purchased section of the App Store, but those who missed out are, in general out of luck.
For example, let’s say your Mac was running OS X Yosemite and you never downloaded the upgrade to OS X El Capitan. Now that macOS Sierra is out, you can no longer download El Capitan from the Mac App Store. If you had downloaded the El Capitan update when it was available, even if you never installed it, you’d still have access to it via your App Store Purchased list.
Now, for most users, this isn’t an issue. But to ensure that you maximize your future options when it comes to Mac operating systems, it’s still a good idea to grab all compatible versions of OS X/macOS while you can. You don’t need to actually install the upgrade, and you can even delete the installer once it downloads, but at least you’ll always have access to it if you ever need it.
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