Keep OS X up to date with the System Update application

It’s important to keep the software on your Mac up to date. Apple releases security updates and software improvements from time to time. Some of these are critical updates that Apple recommends that you install. This process is easy if you use the Software Update application built into OSX.

When you install OSX the Software Update application is set to run weekly. The application works by going out onto the internet to Apple servers and downloading any software updates. Then, if updates are available you are presented with a dialog box requesting you to install the updates. Some of these updates may require you to reboot the computer.

To manually check for updates, click the Apple menu in the menu bar and select Software Updates. This will open the update dialog presenting you with a list of updates that are ready to install.

Software Update is configured through the System Preferences application. Select System Preferences and Software Update to configure the application settings. Through this settings dialog you can configure the frequency of updates and look at a list of installed updates in your system.

Keep your Mac healthy by running Software Update and you will have years of happy computing.


  1. Bill on November 22, 2009 at 11:13 am

    What do mac owners do if they want the updates, but do not want to put their mac on the internet? Is there a place another computer could download files from, and then have them passed over to the mac on a flash memory device, for instance?

    • Joe on November 22, 2009 at 11:39 am

      That’s a great question. You absolutely can download from another machine, copy and install the updates.

      This link on the Apple Support site contains all of the updates that typically come through System Updates in individual installable packages. If you browse through the menu options on the sidebar of the site, you can select only specific updates.

      If this answer helps you please help me by sharing the site using one of the social bookmarking links in the article.

  2. accept checks by fax on December 5, 2009 at 4:43 am

    Occasionally,these updates (such as security patches) may require you to restart your computer for them to take effect.

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