How to Update MacOS

Make sure you always get the latest Mac software update to keep your computer running at maximum functionality.

A MacOS update can be an easy thing to ignore, or miss entirely, but these updates are important to the overall functionality of your Mac. Sometimes you'll get a notification on your screen letting you know about an available Mac update that you can auto schedule, but other times you might have (or want) to check for updates manually. Here's how to update a MacBook or iMac.

How to Update Mac Computers

Besides keeping your computer running smoothly, updates can give you access to cool new features. If you find yourself wanting new features you've heard about, or running into performance issues that might be solved by updating, you'll want to know how to check for updates and download them.

As mentioned before, you might get a notification to schedule an update on your screen at some point. You can do this if you want, but these aren't always reliable ways to stay up to date with the latest updates, especially if you keep putting it off. The way to update your Mac listed below allows you to manually check for updates and make sure you're not missing anything, which can be an important part of troubleshooting your computer. For more on how to keep your devices up to date, check out our Tip of the Day!

Related: iPhone or iPad Won’t Update? Here’s How to Fix It

  1. Click the Apple Menu icon on in your Menu Bar.

  2. Click System Preferences.

  3. Click Software Update.

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

  5. Click Agree for the Software License Agreement.

  6. A progress bar with the update download will appear.

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

  8. Hover your mouse over the bubble until you see Restart and click it.

  9. Enter your computer passcode to restart your computer.

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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.