How to Update Mac to Get New Features & Fix Bugs

Stay on top of macOS updates to keep your computer running at maximum functionality.

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Mac updates can be easy to ignore or miss, but they're critical to the health and function of your computer. Sometimes you'll get a notification on your screen letting you know about an available macOS update, but other times you might need (or want) to check for updates manually. Here's how to update a MacBook or Mac to the latest software: macOS Monterey.

Why Mac Updates Matter

  • Stay on top of bug fixes to keep your Mac and its programs running smoothly.
  • Keep up with the latest new features and functionalities by learning how to install Mac updates.

How to Update MacBook and Mac Computers

It can be a good idea to back up your Mac before you run a Mac update, in case you experience any issues or data loss. For more tips for keeping your Apple devices running smoothly, sign up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter!

Here's how to update macOS to the latest Mac software:

  1. Click the Apple Menu icon on in the upper-left corner of your Mac's screen.

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  2. Click System Preferences.

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  3. Click Software Update.

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  4. If a software update is available, click the button that says Update Now.

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  5. Click Agree for the Software License Agreement.

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  6. A progress bar will appear to show you how far along your Mac update is.

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  7. Once the update is downloaded, a bubble will appear informing you that you will need to restart your computer.

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  8. Hover your cursor over the bubble until you see Restart, then click it.

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  9. Enter your computer passcode to restart your computer.

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Updates to macOS software are frequent, whether they're the larger updates that occur once every year or so, or the smaller updates in between the larger ones. You will generally get a notification to do a Mac or MacBook update when it's time, but it's always a good idea to check for Software Updates manually as well, as demonstrated above.

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Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden–Both's picture

Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden–Both

Amy Spitzfaden Both is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, an award-winning novelist, and an iPhone enthusiast. Over the past decade, her work in the publishing industry has included live coverage of industry events including the Yale Publishing Course and Magazine Innovation’s ACT 9 Experience, providing editing services for several start-up publishing houses, and acting as newsstand consultant for magazines such as The Old Farmer’s Almanac and The New York Review of Books. She graduated from M.I.U. with a Bachelor’s in Literature and Writing, and has gone on to publish two novels and two short stories. Her debut novel Untold won the 2014 Chelson Award for Fiction.
Writing everything from book reviews to skincare tips, Amy discovered a passion for bringing exciting and useful information to even the most casual researcher. The mix of usability and endless possibilities is what drew her to Apple products originally, and the more she learns, the more she loves.
Amy lives in New Hampshire with her husband and daughter. When she’s not writing or glued to her iPhone, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and creating her own tea blends.

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