About the Mac OS X 10.4.6 Update (delta)

The Mac OS X 10.4.6 Update (delta) updates Mac OS X 10.4.5 to version 10.4.6 on both Intel-based Macs and PowerPC-based Macs. (If you are updating from Mac OS X 10.4, 10.4.1, 10.4.2, 10.4.3, or 10.4.4 to 10.4.6, see this article instead.)

Important: Please read before installing.

  • If you use iSync, you should perform a full sync with your devices, such as phones, before installing this update. No .Mac sync is required. Mac OS X 10.4.6 Update includes a later version of iSync with several improvements. For more information and before-you-install steps, see iSync 2.2: Read before updating to Mac OS X 10.4.6 or later, or before first sync.
  • With the Mac OS X 10.4.6 system software update, PowerPC-based Macs will restart twice, instead of once, after the initial installation.
  • You may experience unexpected results if you have third-party system software modifications installed, or if you've modified the operating system through other means. (This does not apply to normal application software installation.)
  • The installation process should not be interrupted. If a power outage or other interruption occurs during installation, use the standalone installer (see below) from Apple Downloads to update.
  • If issues occur during installation--for example, Software Update quits unexpectedly, please see this article.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.


There are two ways to update to Mac OS X 10.4.6: Use Software Update or the standalone installer. You only need to use one of these methods to update your computer.

Automatic Software Update
Software Update, located in the Apple menu, will automatically download the latest Apple software. (Software Update might have linked you to this article to learn more about the update.) Note that the update's size may vary from computer to computer when installed using Software Update. Some updates must be installed prior to others, so you may need to run Software Update more than once to get all of the available updates.

Standalone installer
Download the update installer and run it manually. This a useful option when you need to update multiple computers but only want to download the update once. Two versions of the standalone installer are available from Apple Downloads: a delta and combo.

  • The delta update for PowerPC and Intel-based Macs installer (described here) updates Mac OS X 10.4.5 to 10.4.6.

  • The combo update installer (described in this article) updates Mac OS X 10.4, 10.4.1, 10.4.2, 10.4.3, 10.4.4, and 10.4.5 to 10.4.6.


This update offers many improvements, including:

Finder, networking, and logging in

  • 802.1X login authentication configurations created in Internet Connect can now be used at the Mac OS X login window, too.
  • Addresses an issue in which, when at the login window, the computer would not shut down automatically at a time specified in Energy Saver Schedule preferences; for more information, see this article.
  • Prevents a potential issue in which Mac OS X might stop responding when trying to log in as a FileVault-protected user if the protected Home image file has been damaged or moved; instead, a "You are unable to log in to the user account (name) at this time." alert message appears.
  • Addresses an issue for home directories on AFP servers in which, after failing to burn a disc, an "error -61" alert message would appear when trying to delete the Burn Folder related to the unsuccessful burn.
  • If you are bound to a directory system which enforces password expiration, you will now be periodically prompted to change your password at the login window--if your existing account and keychain passwords are the same, and you change your password at the login window, your keychain password will automatically be updated as well.
  • You can now copy folders with files to an SMB-based server instead of only the folder being copied and this alert message appearing: "The operation cannot be completed because you do not have sufficient privileges for some of the items."
  • Addresses an issue that could prevent MacBook Pro from printing to wireless printers via AppleTalk.
  • Improves iDisk (WebDAV file system) performance.
  • File and folder names that contain colon or forward slash ( "/") characters in the main directory of an iDisk or WebDAV volume no longer cause issues.
  • Resolves potential issues that could occur when using automatic proxy configuration (PAC) files.

Apple applications

  • Resolves an issue in which Mail could unexpectedly quit when lowering the quote level within a reply message.
  • Addresses an issue in which iChat, on an Intel-based Mac with a built-in iSight camera, could sometimes stop displaying video from the iSight camera until the computer was shut down and started up again.
  • Dragging a movie clip into iMovie 6 on an Intel-based Mac will no longer potentially cause some of the iMovie window to turn black.
  • Disk Utility's repair permissions feature will no longer report "We are using special permissions for..." messages.
  • Updates Calculator so that the percentage button ("%") will no longer divide, under certain circumstances, when you expect it to calculate percentage—this could happen in Mac OS X 10.4.3 through 10.4.5.
  • Resolves an issue that could cause Help Viewer to sometimes display a blank window.
  • Addresses some issues that could cause DVD Player to unexpectedly quit when playing a movie disc on an Intel-based Mac.
  • Terminal windows will no longer fail to open when using the /bin/zsh shell.
  • EXIF data is now exported with TIFF images in Aperture.
  • Aperture will no longer unexpectedly quit when exporting a file with keywords that contain twelve or more Cyrillic characters.
  • Resolves potential issues with several iPhoto Automator actions, such as Import Photos into iPhoto.
  • Includes iSync 2.2 which provides support for additional mobile phones. For more information, see iSync 2.2: Read before updating to Mac OS X 10.4.6 or later, or before first sync.

Third-party applications

  • Resolves an issue in which Blizzard World of Warcraft character graphics could be distorted on an Intel-based Mac with a built-in graphics processor when vertex shaders are enabled.
  • The Command-H key combination now hides QuarkXPress 6 as expected when it is the front application.
  • Addresses an issue for Aspyr Media's True Crime: The Streets of LA game in which game movies are very dim on Intel-based Macs.
  • Addresses an issue for Microsoft Word 2004 in which Word would display a "Word cannot complete the operation because too many files are open" alert message when autosaving a document to a network-based home directory.
  • Improves character graphics appearance for Aspyr Media's The Sims House Party when running with Rosetta on an Intel-based Mac.


  • Makes Mac OS X aware of United States Daylight Savings Time (DST) changes enacted by the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
  • Clicking an unmounted iDisk icon in the Save As dialog window of an application running with Rosetta no longer causes the application to stop with a spinning cursor.
  • Spotlight is now better able to search the content of older Microsoft Word documents.
  • Addresses an issue in which some third-party applications might stop responding or unexpectedly quit when running on an Intel-based Mac if you disconnect or connect a display while the computer is on.
  • Addresses potential vnode reference count mismatches that could lead to a kernel panic.
  • Addresses USB audio issues for PowerPC Macs; for example, latency is improved.
  • Addresses several AppleScript issues, including: Preservation of property values in Script Menu, a potential Bonjour issue with "choose remote application", an invisible "choose application" dialog issue, and improved compatibility with Dashboard widgets and applications.
  • Includes recent Apple security updates.
Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
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