About the Mac OS X v10.6.3 Update

Learn what's included with the Mac OS X v10.6.3 Update and read tips for updating your system to the latest software.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard boxMac OS X v10.6.3 Update

Updating your system

You should back up your system before installation; you can use Time Machine.

Do not interrupt the installation process once you have started to update your system. 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.

Choose Software Update from the Apple () menu to check for the latest Apple software via the Internet, including this update.

If your computer is not up-to-date, other software updates available for your computer may appear, which you should install. When Software Updates states "Your software is up to date," you can be sure that all available updates have been installed.

Note that an update size may vary from computer to computer when installed using Software Update. Also, some updates must be installed prior to others, so you should run Software Update more than once to make sure you have all available updates.

You can manually download the update installer. This is a useful option when you need to update multiple computers but only want to download the update once. These versions of the standalone installers are available from Apple Support Downloads.

What's included?

For information about the security content of this update, please visit this article.

General operating system fixes and improvements provided for:

  • performance of Logic Pro 9 and Main Stage 2 when running in 64-bit mode.
  • printing reliability.
  • sleep and wake reliability when using Bonjour wake on demand.
  • a color issue in iMovie with HD content.
  • glowing, stuck, or dark pixels when viewing video from the iMac (Late 2009) built-in iSight camera.
  • an issue in which the Finder reports a -36 error when copying directories to a drive formatted as FAT32.
  • reliability of photo screen savers.
  • compatibility issues with OpenGL-based applications.
  • an issue in which shadows in PDF previews of Aperture books are black instead of gray.
  • an issue in which the microphone level in iChat may not increase the volume after reducing it to prevent a feedback event.
  • the reliability of certain third-party USB devices.
  • the Accounts preference pane can now limit login to members of groups hosted by a non-Apple directory service, such as Active Directory.
  • DNS server ordering as specified in Network Preferences and DNS reliability. For details about how Mac OS X v10.6 handles unresponsive DNS servers, see this article.
  • the reliability and compatibility of QuickTime X.
  • Data Collection: Mac OS X v10.6.3 can collect diagnostic and usage information from your Mac and send it to Apple for analysis automatically. The information is only collected with your explicit consent, and is submitted anonymously to Apple. For more details, see this article.

AirPort and wireless networking fixes for:

  • general reliability for wireless connections.
  • improvements to 802.1X reliability, including closed network connections, and WPA2.
  • sleep/wake reliability for current iMac models when connected to 2.4GHz wireless networks.

Date and Time fixes provided for:

  • Daylight Saving Time rules to reflect recent changes in areas including Argentina, Fiji, Pakistan, and Antarctica.

Directory Services fixes provided for:

  • an issue that could cause the system to become unstable or unresponsive when bound to an LDAP server using SSL.
  • an issue in which the 802.1X Loginwindow Profile is in place, but the wireless network is not available; directory authentication over Ethernet will now succeed.

File Services fixes provided for:

  • an issue that could prevent saving files from Microsoft Office 2008 to an SMB server volume.
  • issues copying, renaming or deleting files on an SMB server volume.
  • clear-text authentication to an SMB file server.

iCal fixes provided for:

  • changing the invitation list for a single instance of a recurring event.  Such changes will no longer "un-book" the location of the meeting.
  • an issue in which new invitations on a Microsoft Exchange server might not appear in the Notification pane.
  • properly showing recurring Microsoft Exchange events which have a set end date. For details, see this article.

Mail fixes and improvements provided for:

  • an issue that causes background message colors to display incorrectly in Mail.
  • signing and encrypting messages, such as when using an Entrust PKI (Public Key Infrastructure).
  • synchronization of the "Sent" mailbox on a Microsoft Exchange server.
  • an issue that could cause Mail to delete mailboxes on a Microsoft Exchange server that is hosted behind an Internet load balancer.

Mobile Accounts fixes and improvements provided for:

  • home directory synchronization when the home directory is stored on an SMB file server.
  • properly warning mobile users in an Active Directory domain about upcoming password expiration.
  • creating a Mobile Account that uses smart card authentication, without using a command-line tool.
  • reliability in background synchronization.

MobileMe fixes and improvements provided for:

  • an issue in which movies could not be viewed in Safari when visiting www.me.com/gallery.
  • reliability of iDisk Sync.
  • reliability of syncing calendars.

Parental Controls fixes and improvements provided for:

  • restoring Safari bookmarks functionality to parental controls users.
  • better handling of Safari bookmark management when using Parental Controls.
  • more reliable application launch restrictions when using Parental Controls.

Rosetta fixes provided for:

  • an issue that prevented files with the # or & characters in their names from opening in Rosetta applications.

System Imaging fixes and improvements provided for:

  • the asr command, which now accepts the "--allow fragmented catalog" option, for restoring images that have a fragmented catalog file. For details, type "man asr" in Terminal.
  • the installer command, which can now be used to upgrade a Mac OS X v10.5 system with a QuickTime 7 Pro key, installed to Mac OS X v10.6.

Time Machine fixes and improvements provided for:

  • reliability from Time Machine to Time Capsule backups, including multiple computers.
  • an issue with Time Machine in which system backups could be restored onto unsupported Mac configurations.
  • an issue in which a Time Machine backup might not work using an AirPort connection.

Xsan fixes and improvements provided for:

  • the reliability of Fibre channel connections to an Xserve RAID.
  • an issue that could cause the size of certain Fibre channel LUNs to be misreported.


The Mac OS X v10.6.3 combo update also includes improvements provided in the Mac OS X v10.6.1 Update and Mac OS X v10.6.2 Update.

In order to receive all the improvements listed above, some systems require the Mac OS X v10.6.3 Supplemental Update, which is available via Software Update.

Tip: If you don't see the Mac OS X v10.6.3 Supplemental Update in Software Update, you don't need to install it.

Note: The Supplemental Update is for any system that was updated from Mac OS X v10.6 using the Mac OS X Update Combined v10.6.3, build 10D573. It is not needed on systems that were updated from Mac OS X v10.6.1 or 10.6.2, and it is not needed on systems that were updated from Mac OS X v10.6 using the Mac OS X Update Combined v10.6.3, v1.1.

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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