2019 Mac & macOS Updates to Apple's Tours (com.apple.touristd)

With every new major macOS version (and certain hardware models), Apple introduces new “tours” that are offered to users to learn about “What’s New” with macOS, Mac basics, and where applicable, their specific Mac model. These tours manifest themselves in the form of notifications that when selected open a unique URL in Safari for the selected tour.

As far as I can tell, Carl Ashley was one of the first to write about this years ago when 10.12 Sierra was the current OS version. The ultimate goal is to suppress these additional macOS notifications entirely and can be done most efficiently with a configuration profile.

However, despite the touristd binary having commands to override different information, in my own testing I have been unable to trick touristd into pulling different tours than those applicable to my own macOS version and Mac hardware model. The same is the case when done in a VM. This up until now has made it difficult to update our own profile for new macOS versions and hardware that is released without having them on hand to test.

While a Mac’s current tour notification status data is written to each user’s ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.touristd/com.apple.touristd.plist file, I recently stumbled on another touristd file in ~/Library/Application Support/com.apple.touristd/com.apple.touristd.plist. It appears that this file has all the information – the board IDs, URLs, applicable OS versions, etc. – for every possible tour, making it much much easier to verify and update moving forward.

You will find the new Catalina and Mac hardware model tours available in ProfileCreator, so you can more easily create a profile to suppress those alerts. So long as each preference key’s date and time is set to some point in the past, all tour notifications will be suppressed. That is, until Apple releases new ones.

While you can choose to deploy targeted profiles of just the applicable models to your devices, you can push one profile that suppresses everything to all your Macs.

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