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OS X Server (Mountain Lion): How to use the Mac App Store in Software Update-only mode

Learn how to enable Software Update-only mode in the Mac App Store on OS X Server (Mountain Lion) using Profile Manager.

You can use Profile Manager to enable Software Update-only mode in the Mac App Store on Mountain Lion. Note: With this enabled, users will only have access to the Updates section of the Mac App Store. All other sections will be disabled (dimmed).

If you have not done so, first update to OS X Server v2.1 or later.

Use the following steps to configure this setting in Profile Manager with OS X Server v2.1 or later:
  1. Using your web browser, go to the Profile Manager site (for example, server.apple.com/profilemanager/).
  2. Log in with an administrator's name and password.
  3. Select the record for which you would like to manage this setting (user, group, device, or device group).
  4. Under the Profile tab, click the Edit button to edit this record's profile.
  5. Select "Restrictions" in the left column, under the OS X section.
  6. If a payload has not been configured, click the Configure button.
  7. Under the Applications tab, enable the "Restrict App Store to software updates only" option.
  8. Click OK to dismiss the edit view.
  9. Click Save.
The record you selected in step 3 will only be able to access the Updates section of the Mac App Store.

Additional Information

You can also use one the following advanced commands to enable Software Update-only mode without using Profile Manager.

To enable this setting for just one user account

To enable this setting for a specific user account, log in as the account and execute this Terminal command:

defaults write com.apple.appstore restrict-store-softwareupdate-only -bool yes


To enable this setting system-wide

To enable this setting for all user accounts, log in as an admin account and execute this Terminal command:

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.appstore restrict-store-softwareupdate-only -bool yes


To revert this change for a user account, log in as the account and execute:

defaults write com.apple.appstore restrict-store-softwareupdate-only -bool no


To revert this change system-wide, log in as an admin and execute:

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.appstore restrict-store-softwareupdate-only -bool no
Last Modified: Jul 10, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Jul 10, 2013
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