Update macOS on Mac

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

Before you begin

Use Software Update

  1. Open Software Update:

    • From the Apple menu  in the corner of your screen, choose System Settings. Click General in the sidebar of the window that opens, then click Software Update on the right.

    • If you don't have System Settings in the Apple menu , choose System Preferences instead. Then click Software Update in the window that opens.

    • Don't see Software Update settings?

  2. When you open Software Update, it automatically begins checking for new software.

    • If new software is available for your Mac, click the button to Update or Upgrade. What's the difference between an update and upgrade?

    • If new software is not available for your Mac, Software Update says that your Mac is up to date. Software Update shows only software that is compatible with your Mac model. For example, if your Mac is not compatible with a later version of macOS or Safari, Software Update does not offer it to you. Which Mac models are compatible?

  3. Before installation begins, you will be asked to enter your administrator password. It's the password you use to log in to your Mac. Forgot your password?

  4. During installation, your Mac might restart and show a progress bar or blank screen several times. If installation is not successful, learn what to do.

Example: Software Update in macOS Sonoma

This example shows Software Update in macOS Sonoma. Software Update in your version of macOS might look different.

If you don't see Software Update

  • If you don't see an item named Software Update in the System Settings (or System Preferences) window, click the Spotlight iconSpotlight icon in the upper-right 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 about other ways to download and install macOS.

What are 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  • An update is a newer version of the currently installed macOS, such as an update from macOS Ventura 13.5 to macOS Ventura 13.6.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.

Which Mac models are compatible?

These are the most recent macOS upgrades and the computers that can use them. You can also find out which macOS your Mac is using now.

Learn more

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