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How to unenroll your Mac from the Software Beta Program

My buddy, Steve Sande, has written about “How to Set Up macOS 10.15 Catalina in Parallels Desktop (and Why You May Want to Wait) here: Developers: How to Set Up macOS 10.15 Catalina in Parallels Desktop (and Why You May Want to Wait). But what if you’ve enrolled in the Software Beta Program and want out? No problem.

If you decide you don’t want to participate in the program anymore, here’s how you can “unenroll” your Mac.

Open Software Update in Systems Preferences.

Click the “Details” button below “This Mac is enrolled in the Apple Beta Software Program.”

Catalina Beta Software Update
Catalina Beta Software Update

A dialog will appear asking if you would like to restore your default update settings. Choose ‘Restore Defaults’, and your Mac will no longer receive public betas. When the next commercial version of macOS is released, you can install it from Software Update in System Preferences.

Restoring the defaults for macOS Catalina Beta
Stop receiving Apple Beta Software Program updates

To go back to a prior release of macOS, you can restore your Mac from the Time Machine backup that you created before installing the public beta — assuming that you created such a back-up. And you did, didn’t you?

You can always sign up again later. As a member of the Apple Beta Software Program, you’ll be able to enroll your devices to access the public betas and try out the latest features. You can provide feedback directly to Apple using the Feedback Assistant app. The Apple Beta Software Program is free but remember: beta software is unfinished software, so use with care. 

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Contributing Author
Dennis has over 40 years of journalism experience and has written hundreds of articles. For the past 20-plus years, he's been an online journalist, covering mainly Apple Inc. He's written for MacCentral, MacWorld, MacMinute, Macsimum News, Apple Daily Report, and is now contributing editor at Apple World Today.
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  • Once you unenroll from the beta testing program, your Mac should perform as it did before enrolling in the program. If not, I’d contact Apple support.

  • One question: Does the unenrolled Mac eventually pick back up with the mainstream releases of macOS? It certainly doesn’t immediately.

    That is, if I don’t want to go back, but want to go forward without restoring from Time Machine, will my Mac eventually get back on the public release train?