macOS Sierra as automatic download
macOS Sierra available for users as an automatic download Apple

The macOS Sierra is now available as an automatic download for supported Mac devices, which according to Apple makes it easier for users to get the operating system. This means you will no longer have to fetch the update manually.

For those who are running OS X El Capitan version 10.11.5 or later, macOS Sierra will download automatically in the background. But the auto update feature is restricted to downloading. Once the macOS Sierra download is complete, users will receive a notification that says it is ready to be installed. All you need to do is just click Install to get started with the update.

If you don't want to update right now, just dismiss the notification and install it at any time that is convenient to you. Open the file named Install macOS Sierra that can be found in your Applications folder, Launchpad or Spotlight. Alternatively, delete the installer by dragging it to the Trash folder.

Even after deleting the download, you can always get the update from Mac App Store manually. Note that macOS Sierra will be downloaded automatically only if you have an eligible system. If your Mac does not meet the requirements for Sierra, you will be able to get El Capitan or its previous versions.

macOS Sierra is compatible with iMac (late 2009 or newer), MacBook (late 2009 or newer), MacBook Pro (mid 2010 or newer), MacBook Air (late 2010 or newer), Mac mini (mid 2010 or newer), Mac Pro (mid 2010 or newer), OS X El Capitan v10.11, Yosemite v10.10, Mavericks v10.9, Mountain Lion v10.8 and Lion v10.7.

The automatic download is not new to Macs or iOS for that matter. This feature has been available for a while now. You can opt out if you don't want Sierra to download automatically.

How to disable macOS Sierra automatic download

  • On your Mac, go to System preferences then App Store
  • From there deselect the option that says "Download newly available updates in the background"

The Loop first reported about the development saying it had heard from Apple directly. Later, Apple updated the macOS Sierra page reflecting the new changes.