Apple releases new versions of their software (Mac OS updates as well as application updates) through Software Update and the App Store. Apple also releases security updates through Software Update, so it is very important that you have Software Update configured properly on your computer.

    1. In the dock (at the bottom of your Mac desktop), click on the System Preferences icon. (It looks like a rectangle with gears in it.) If you do not see this item listed in the dock, you can also select System Preferences... from the Apple Menu.

    2. Enable checking for updates:

      • For 10.6 & 10.7: Click on the Software Update icon to open the Software Update pane.

        Saint Mary's College recommends that you set your computer to Check for updates daily or weekly. Your computer will notify you automatically that updates are available and ready to be downloaded and installed. You can choose to Download updates automatically.

      • For 10.8: Click on the Software Update icon to open the Software Update pane.

        Saint Mary's College recommends that you set your computer to both Automatically check for updates and to Download newly available updates in the background. If you check the box to Install system data files and security updates, those updates will be installed automatically. (You may also wish to select the option to Automatically download apps purchased on other Macs if you have more than one Mac associated with your personal Apple ID.)

      • For 10.9 & 10.10: Click on the App Store icon to open the App Store pane.

        Saint Mary's College recommends that you set your computer to both Automatically check for updates and to Download newly available updates in the background. If you check the box to Install system data files and security updates, those updates will be installed automatically. (You may also wish to select the option to Automatically download apps purchased on other Macs if you have more than one Mac associated with your personal Apple ID.)

    3. For 10.6 & 10.7: Click Check Now. The computer will look for available updates. If updates are available, click Continue or Install. (If you click Show Details you will see a list of updates that will be installed, and then you can install those items. You should install all listed items for your computer.)

      For 10.8: Click Check Now. The computer will look for available updates. Click Show Updates if your computer has already detected there are updates available. The App Store will launch and display the updates available. Click the Update All button to install all available updates.

      For 10.9 & 10.10: Click Check Now. (If updates are available, you may see the option to Show Updates.) The App Store will launch and display the updates available. Click the Update All button to install all available updates.

    4. Agree to any license agreements that may appear. Type in your administrator account name and password (or your Apple ID and password) if prompted and click OK.
    5. After the update is complete, your computer will notify you if it needs to be restarted. If necessary, restart your computer.
    6. Repeat the Software Update process to see if additional updates are available. Because some software updates are prerequisites for others, you may need to repeat these steps several times to install all of the software updates available for your computer.

Last Modified July 23, 2015