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Controlling Google Software Updates


If you use Google Chrome or other Google software on your Mac you may have noticed that the software keeps itself updated automatically. It will check for updates every day. For many reasons this may not be a desirable behaviour. For instance, in a situation where you have a limited Internet data allowance (such as many 3G mobile data plans, or basically all Internet services in countries like New Zealand) having 2 or more computers automatically updating their software is a waste of data allowance. I prefer to download updates manually and then update all my computers using the one download.

Here is the instructions on how to control Google software updates:

Managing updates in Google Software Update


Google Software Update is responsible for updating Google applications running on Mac OS X. By default, Google Software Update currently checks for new updates once a day. While this works well for most users, some individuals may desire more control over when updates occur. For these users, Google Software Update offers the ability to change the frequency of update checks or turn off update checks all together.

Update Frequency

To change how frequently Google Software Update checks for updates, execute the following in the Terminal application:

$ defaults write com.google.Keystone.Agent checkInterval <frequency>

where <frequency> is the elapsed time in seconds between update checks.

To disable Google Software Update from checking for updates, execute the following in the Terminal application:

$ defaults write com.google.Keystone.Agent checkInterval 0

Manual Updates

Google Software Update also provides a way to manually update all Google software on a user’s Mac. Here’s how:

  1. In Finder, select GoGo to Folder.
  2. In the window that appears, enter one of the following locations. It’s expected that one of these folders won’t be found:
    • /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/
    • ~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/
  3. In the folder that opens, double click the file named ‘CheckForUpdatesNow.command’.

Terminal will open to run the file. When you see the message ‘[Process completed]’ you can close Terminal. Once this is done, your Google programs will be up to date.

Removing the Google Software Updater entirely

If you simply don’t want the Google Software Updater on your Mac any more, here’s what to do:

Delete the contents of this folder.

Then lock the folder by bringing up its Info and ticking the little lock. After that it will not be able to reinstall. You can then do your Google software updates manually, which is nice for those of us who don’t want massive downloads occurring without our consent (such as people using a 2G or 3G data-stick connection.

How to lock folder



  1. I know this is a bit of an old thread, so maybe things are different over at planet google. The command to suppress automatic update checking worked, but when I tried to execute the ‘CheckForUpdatesNow.command’, it didn’t seem to work. “Failed to connect to system engine.” Any thoughts?

  2. Manually checking for updates still works for me. I get this output:

    2013-11-23 12:45:39.156 GoogleSoftwareUpdateAgent[34034/0xb0289000] [lvl=3] -[KSAgentApp(KeystoneDelegate) updateEngineFinishedUpdate:errors:wantsReboot:] Finished with com.google.musicmanager : errors 0, should reboot 0

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