How to Check for Updates on Mac: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to Mac users! If you’re a new user, you may not know how to check for updates on Mac. Whether you’re Mac-savvy or a newbie, updates are vital to keep your computer optimized and secure. In this article, we’ll walk you through each step on how to check for updates on Mac.


1. Click on the Apple menu

The Apple menu is located on the top left corner of your Mac’s screen. Click on it to open a drop-down menu.

2. Choose “System Preferences”

Select “System Preferences” from the drop-down menu.

3. Click on “Software Update”

After entering the “System Preferences” menu, click on the “Software Update” icon. It has an icon of a blue circle with a white gear inside it.

4. Check for updates

Your Mac should now be searching for updates after clicking on the “Software Update” icon. If there’s any, you’ll see a message that says updates are available, and a brief note of the update’s features.

5. Click “Install Now”

If there are updates available, you can install them by clicking on “Install Now”. Be sure to save your work before clicking as your Mac will need to restart after the update.

6. Enter your Admin Name and Password

If you’re asked to enter your Admin Name and Password, do so to authorize the installation of the updates.

7. Wait for your Mac to update

Give your Mac enough time to update. The time needed to install the update depends on the size of the update and your Mac’s speed.

8. Restart your Mac

After the update has completed, restart your Mac to apply the changes fully.

9. Click on “About This Mac”

To check if all updates were successfully installed, you can click on “About This Mac” from the Apple menu. It will show you which macOS your computer is running and the current update version installed.

10. Automatic updates

If you want to avoid manually checking for updates, you can select the checkbox for “Automatically keep my Mac up to date” under the “Software Update” menu. This option will let your Mac check for updates automatically every week.

11. Enable or Disable automatic update downloads

If you want to allow automatic updates to download in the background, leaving it enabled can help save some time. On the “Software Update” menu, click on “Advanced” and select “Automatically download updates”. This option will let your Mac download updates when it’s not in use.

12. Disable automatic update downloads

If you don’t want your Mac to automatically download updates, you can disable it under the “Advanced” option. Click on “Automatically download updates” and select “Off”.


Updating your Mac can be remarkably straightforward, but you won’t be able to download updates if your computer isn’t connected to the internet. It’s highly recommended to back up your files before updating your Mac. If a power outage or other issues occur during the update, it may cause irreversible harm to your Mac’s hardware or software.

Remember to install updates regularly to guarantee that your Mac runs smoothly and is protected from security threats. Skipping updates, no matter how small, may cause performance issues or leave your Mac vulnerable to security breaches.

Tips and tricks

1. Back up your files before installing updates

Backing up your files secures your data, so you won’t lose everything if something goes wrong with the update.

2. Allow your Mac to update while you’re not using it

If you work on Mac frequently, it would be a good idea to set the automatic download in the background. It will effectively save time spent manually downloading updates.

3. Check if an update is compatible with your Mac’s hardware and software

Before installing updates, make sure that your Mac matches the requirements needed for the update to run correctly.

4. Keep a copy of your macOS installer file

It’s a wise idea to keep a downloaded installer file of your current macOS version, just in case anything goes wrong with the update. The installer file can be used to install the latest software version offline.

5. Keep a backup bootable hard drive

A backup bootable hard drive can be an essential backup solution if you have important files that you can’t afford to lose. You can boot from your backup hard drive should anything go wrong with your Mac.

6. Remove unnecessary apps to free up hard drive space

The update requires substantial disk space, so it is best to delete unnecessary applications, documents, and other files that take up space to create room for the update.

7. Restart your Mac before installing the updates

Restart your Mac computer before installing updates to ensure that your Mac is clean and optimized. This will avoid issues that may occur during the update.

8. Wait for the update to finish completely

Avoid interrupting the update process; even if it looks like frozen or slowed down. This can disrupt the update, and your Mac may not work correctly, or you could lose your files.

9. Keep your Internet Connection stable

Ensure that your Internet connection is stable while updating your Mac. Once the update starts, any disruption in your connection may cause problems with the installation process.

10. Do Not Use your Mac

Avoid working on your Mac during the update process to avoid any interruption that may cause potential dangers. Wait until the update has been completed before resuming your work.

In conclusion, updating your Mac frequently ensures that it functions properly and remains secure. With these easy steps, you can check for updates on your Mac easily. Be sure to follow them carefully and remember the tips and tricks we’ve mentioned to keep your Mac optimized and secure.

How to Check for Updates on Mac

Advantages and Disadvantages

Checking for updates on your Mac is an important task to ensure that your computer is running smoothly. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of checking for updates on Mac:


Advantages Explanation
Improved Security Checking for updates helps to keep your Mac secure and protected from the latest security threats and vulnerabilities.
Bug Fixes Downloading and installing updates can fix performance issues or software bugs that were present on your Mac.
New Features Depending on the update, new features may be available that you didn’t have access to before. These features can improve your productivity and Mac experience.
Longevity Keeping your Mac up-to-date can help extend its lifespan and prevent issues that could arise from outdated software or hardware.
Compatibility Software updates can ensure compatibility with all your devices and the latest software and programs.


Disadvantages Explanation
Time-consuming Downloading and installing updates can take a significant amount of time, and you often have to restart your computer to complete the process.
Compatibility Issues Sometimes updates can cause issues with other software or hardware on your Mac, which can be frustrating and time-consuming to fix.
Storage Space Updates can take up a lot of valuable storage space on your Mac, which can be an issue if you have limited space available.
Expense Some updates may require payment, which can be an added expense that not everyone is willing or able to afford.
Incompatibility with older Macs Sometimes updates are not compatible with older Macs, which can make it difficult to keep your computer up-to-date.

Overall, checking for updates on your Mac is important to ensure that your computer is secure, up-to-date, and functioning properly. While there may be some disadvantages, the benefits of checking for updates far outweigh the drawbacks.


1. How to check for updates on Mac?

To check for updates on Mac, click on the Apple menu and select “System Preferences”. Then, click on “Software Update” and follow the instructions to download and install any available updates.

2. Can I set my Mac to automatically check for updates?

Yes, you can set your Mac to automatically check for updates. To do so, go to “System Preferences”, click on “Software Update”, and select “Automatically keep my Mac up to date”.

3. What should I do if there are no updates available?

If there are no updates available, make sure that your Mac is running the latest version of its operating system. Also, check for any software updates from third-party applications that you have installed.

4. Can I check for updates for specific applications?

Yes, you can check for updates for specific applications by opening the App Store application and clicking on the “Updates” tab. Any available updates for your installed applications will be listed there.

5. How often should I check for updates on my Mac?

It is recommended to check for updates on your Mac at least once a week to ensure that you are running the latest and most secure software.

6. Do updates on Mac cost anything?

No, updates on Mac are generally free of charge. However, some third-party applications may require you to purchase a new version or license for certain updates.

7. What happens if I don’t update my Mac?

If you don’t update your Mac, it may become vulnerable to security threats or performance issues. Updating your Mac ensures that it is running the latest and most secure software.

8. What should I do if I encounter problems while updating my Mac?

If you encounter problems while updating your Mac, try restarting your computer and checking for updates again. If the problem persists, contact Apple Support for assistance.

9. Is it safe to update my Mac?

Yes, it is safe to update your Mac. Apple thoroughly tests all software updates before releasing them to the public to ensure that they are safe and stable.

10. Will updating my Mac erase my data?

No, updating your Mac should not erase any of your data. However, it is always recommended to backup your important files before performing any software updates.

11. How long does it take to update my Mac?

The time it takes to update your Mac depends on the size and number of updates available. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more.

12. Can I cancel a software update once it has started?

Yes, you can cancel a software update once it has started by clicking on the “X” button next to the update progress bar. However, cancelling an update may leave your system in an unstable state and should only be done as a last resort.

13. What should I do if an update fails to install?

If an update fails to install, try restarting your computer and checking for updates again. If the problem persists, contact Apple Support for assistance.

How to Check for Updates on Mac

Updating your Mac is important to ensure that your computer runs smoothly, free from bugs and vulnerabilities. These updates also provide new features and improve the performance of your device. Mac OS has an automatic update feature that downloads and installs updates, but if you want to check for updates manually, here’s how:


Keeping your Mac up to date is essential to maintain its optimum performance. Checking for updates regularly can help address security concerns and keep your computer running smoothly. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your Mac is running the latest version of the operating system and is secure from the latest vulnerabilities. Stay updated and experience the best performance from your Mac.

Say goodbye to any worries about the health of your Mac. Ensuring that it is always up-to-date is very important, and these easy steps should have helped you learn how to check for updates on your Mac device. Keep your system running smoothly by checking for updates regularly and install whenever there is any available for updates. Happy updating!