Update macOS on Mac

Use Software Update to install updates and upgrades for macOS and its built-in apps, including Safari.

Use Software Update

  1. Before installing new software, it's a good idea to back up your Mac. If you have an external storage device, you can use it to back up your Mac with Time Machine.
  2. To check for new software, open Software Update:
    • From the Apple menu  in the corner of your screen, choose System Settings. Click General in the sidebar, then click Software Update on the right.
    • Or in earlier versions of macOS, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Software Update.
  3. If Software Update finds new software, click the Update or Upgrade button to download and install it. You will be asked to enter your administrator password, which is the password you use to log in to your Mac. During installation, your Mac might show a progress bar or blank screen several times.
    Software Update settings

If Software Update says that your Mac is up to date, then no new software is currently available for your Mac model. Software Update shows only software that is compatible with your Mac. 


If you don't see Software Update

If you don't see an item named Software Update in System Settings or System Preferences, click the Spotlight icon  in the corner of your screen, then type Software Update in the search field. If Software Update is found, you can open it from the search results.

If your older Mac doesn't include Software Update, use the App Store instead. It's in your Applications folder. Click the Updates tab in the App Store to check for updates, or search for the software by name.



Learn more

Software Update delivers both updates and upgrades. An update is a newer version of the currently installed macOS, such as an update from macOS Ventura 13.5 to macOS Ventura 13.6. An upgrade is a major new version of macOS with new name, such as an upgrade from macOS Ventura to macOS Sonoma. If an update or upgrade isn't compatible with your Mac, it doesn't appear in Software Update.  

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