Your Mac notifies you when updates are available for OS X or software you've purchased from the Mac App Store.
In OS X Yosemite, you can tell your Mac to automatically install updates as needed. The first time updates are ready, Yosemite gives you the option to always update automatically.
If you click Turn On when you see this notification, your Mac installs OS X and app updates overnight as they become available. Your computer automatically restarts as part of the update process when needed. The next morning when you log in, your apps and windows re-open just the way you left them. This way your computer is up to date and ready to continue where you left it.
If you don't turn on Always Update, your Mac lets you know every time updates are ready to install. You might see a notification in the Apple menu, a badge on the App Store icon, or an alert telling you that updates are available.
When you see a Software Update alert, Click Update, Install, or Restart to install the updates that are ready. You can click the banner to dismiss the alert without updating and see the list of updates that are available and their descriptions.
For updates that can be postponed, a Later button appears in the alert. If it’s not a convenient time to install your updates, click Later to tell OS X to remind you about the update at another time. Click and hold the Later button to see additional options, like "Try Tonight" and "Remind Me Tomorrow."
Check for Updates
OS X Mountain Lion, Mavericks and Yosemite
You can use these steps to manually check for updates, or to see more information about available updates:
- Choose App Store from the Apple menu.
- Click the Updates button in the toolbar at the top of the App Store window.
Updates to OS X and software that you purchased from the Mac App Store are listed in the Updates pane of the App Store window. OS X updates appear at the top of the updates list. If more than one OS X update is available, you can click "More…" to see the complete list, along with descriptions of each update.
- Click the Update button next to a item to update it.
- If more than one update is available, click the Update All button to download and install all the updates that are listed.
- A list of items that have already been updated in the last 30 days are shown at the bottom of the window.
You can monitor the process of an update from this window, or pause and resume updates if you want to continue downloading an item later.
Earlier versions of OS X
In earlier versions of OS X, choose Software Update from the Apple menu to manually check for OS X updates. Follow the onscreen prompts to install any updates that are available. If you've installed software from the Mac App Store, open the App Store app and check the Updates pane for updates to your purchased software.
If you can't connect to the Software Update server
If you're using your iPhone as an Instant Hotspot, OS X doesn't check for updates automatically. If you need to install an update while you're using your cellular data connection, open the Updates pane of the Mac App Store to manually check for and download updates.
If you are using your Mac at a business or school, ask your network administrator if you're using a proxy server. Software Update uses HTTPS to create a secure connection to Apple's Software Update servers. Make sure you have a working Internet connection by opening http://www.apple.com in Safari. Your administrator can configure a proxy server to allow allow a secure connection to Apple's Software Update server if needed.
Using standalone installers from Apple Support
Sometimes you might want to download a standalone installer instead of using Software Update. For example:
- If you think you might need the same download again later
- You want to install the same software on multiple computers
- You have a faster Internet connection available from another computer
- You have no Internet connection on the computer that needs the update
You can get standalone installers for many Apple software updates from the Apple Support website. Carefully read the download description before using a standalone installer. It lets you know if you need to apply other updates first. It also helps you determine if your Mac is compatible with the related download.
Get more help
Learn more about automatically applying updates by searching for "software update" from the Help menu in OS X. You can also learn more from these resources: