Information Technology

Mac OS X Software Update

Apple frequently releases updates to your computer's software. The Software Update feature in Mac OS X makes it very easy to determine and get exactly what you need.

Update now

To get updates immediately:

1. From the Apple menu, choose Software Update.

Mac OS X Software Update

2. In the Software Update window, select the items you want to install, then click the Install button.

Mac OS X Software Update Screen

3. Enter an administrator account name and password, then click OK.

Enter Credentials to Continue

4. The updates will begin to download and install.

Installing Updates

5. After the update is complete, restart the computer if required.

Restart Now

6. Repeat these steps to see if more updates are now available. Because some software updates are prerequisites for others, you may need to repeat these steps several times to complete the software update sequence.

Scheduling an update

The Software Update preference pane lets you schedule automatic checks for updates. In fact, it's set to automatically check by default. You can change the check interval from weekly to daily or monthly, or you could turn off scheduled checks if you want.

NOTE: If you want your computer to download important updates without asking, select "Download important updates in the background".

Hide updates you don't need

Sometimes you're going to see an update in the Software Update list that you don't need. Rather than having to see that unnecessary update every time you check, you have the option to hide it by making it inactive.

Using standalone installers

Sometimes a standalone installer is more useful than the automatic Software Update feature. Examples include when you:

  • Anticipate needing the file again later
  • Need to install on multiple computers and need a portable file
  • Have a faster Internet connection available to you at another computer
  • Have no Internet connection on the computer that needs the update

You can get standalone copies of Apple software updates from Apple Downloads.

Carefully read the stated system requirements before using a standalone installer. Be sure to install them in the correct order when applicable, or only on compatible systems when applicable.