It’s important to update your Mac, whether it’s using new features in macOS or installing important bug fixes and security updates. However, it is not always clear how to do it – the system can even update for you, depending on your default settings. We’ll show you how to update a Mac yourself, whether it’s automatically or manually.
How to update a Mac with macOS Mojave or later
If you use at least macOS Mojave, all updates to the system and important Apple software (such as Calendar, Mail, Photos, and Safari) are available through System Preferences. You can also choose how to update your Mac, including automatic downloads and installations.
- Open System Preferences.
- Click Software Update.
- Software update checks for new software versions when you visit. If anyone is available, you will see them listed. Otherwise, you will be notified that your Mac is up to date.
- Click Update Now to install all available updates or More information to select specific updates to install.
- Select the “Keep my Mac automatically updated” checkbox to automatically install each update in the future.
- To customize the automatic update delivery, click Advanced and select the check boxes that you want to automatically select, download, and install updates.
How to update a Mac with older macOS versions
If you use a version of macOS released in recent years before Mojave, such as El Capitan or High Sierra, all your system updates go through the App Store. You can also set up automatic updates, even if you need to visit System Preferences. We show you how to update your Mac using both methods.
- Open the App Store.
- Click the Updates tab. MacOS checks for any new updates and lists them if they are available. If you do not see anything, your system is up to date.
- Click Update All to install each new upgrade, or click the Update Buttons for each app if you just want to install specific updates.
- To install updates automatically, open System Preferences, click the App Store, and select Download recently updated updates in the background.