How to Check for System Updates on macOS

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Running system updates is a solid way to keep a laptop safe, secure and running smoothly, so we're unclear as to why Apple's changed its software update location again. Yes, macOS Mojave has moved System Updates from the Mac App Store to System Preferences.

1   coverThe other major feature in this section of System Preferences is a check box labelled "Automatically keep my Mac up to date." Enabling it will grant your system the ability to download updates from Apple on its own, without you granting explicit permission. We recommend you leave this setting disabled, so you can have full control over when major updates — which can sometimes break apps you rely on — install.

Formerly its own app, Software Update moved to the Mac App Store in 2012, where it lived under the Updates tab. Why Updates has moved to the third row of System Preferences is unclear, though it may help users distinguish between third-party app updates and system patches issued by Apple itself.

MORE: How to Master macOS: Expert Tips and Tricks

The move also gives macOS another similarity to iOS, where Software Updates lives in the Settings app.

How to run system updates on macOS

1. Click the Apple logo in the top left corner.step 1

2. Select System Preferences.step 2

3. Select Software Update.step 3

4. Click Update Now if an update is available. Follow on-screen instructions, which often include restarting your system, if Clicking Command+R after clicking the gear icon will refresh this page to check for updates. 

If your system is up to date, you'll see the check box to automatically install Apple's updates, and the Advanced button, which allows you to set preferences for your how Mac looks for updates and installs them.


Author Bio
Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey,
Henry is a senior writer at Laptop Mag, covering security, Apple and operating systems. Prior to joining Laptop Mag — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and wondering why Apple decided to ditch its MagSafe power adapters.
Henry T. Casey, on