Tips & Tricks

Mac Issues


Mac Glossary

Used Macs

Fun Stuff

More Tips

Updating Your software

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.

To get updates immediately:
1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.

Tip: If you have Mac OS X 10.3 or later, there's a shortcut. Choose Software Update from the Apple menu instead, then skip to step 4.


2. From the View menu, choose Software Update.
3. Click the Check Now button (or Update Now in earlier Mac OS X versions).
4. In the Software Update window, select the items you want to install, then click Install.
5. Enter an administrator account name and password.
6. After the update is complete, restart the computer if required.
7. 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

If you turn your machine on and off each day, Software Update is scheduled to run first start Monday morning. If your machine is left on 24/7, this will not occur and you will want to run software update manually on your own.

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. For instance iSight update and you have no camera. Highlight the update and go up "Update" on the main menu and down to "Ignore Update."

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.

A note on reference releases

Mac OS X 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, and 10.4 are not downloadable updates, they are reference releases. This means, for example, you can't upgrade from Mac OS X 10.3 to Mac OS X 10.4 via a downloadable installer. Current reference releases are usually available from the Apple Store online, Apple Retail Stores, and Apple-authorized resellers. See also, Update, upgrade--what's the difference?

Charts of available updates

You can also review our charts of available updates for Mac OS X 10.3, Mac OS X 10.2, and Mac OS X 10.1. However, you should check Software Update and the product support pages for the latest information.


Back to Top





Used Macs