Troubleshooting Automatic Software Update in Mac OS X v10.5 or earlier

Learn troubleshooting tips for the Software Update feature of Mac OS X.

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Software Update stops responding during "Configuring installation" (Mac OS X 10.5 through 10.5.5)

See this article if you are experiencing this issue.

Unable to connect to the Internet

Check for Internet connectivity in other applications, such as Mail or a web browser such as Safari; use Safari to connect to This tests your ability to connect to Apple.

If other applications also have no connectivity, see "Mac OS X: Internet and Network Topics (Getting Connected, Troubleshooting)".

If you are using a proxy server in Mac OS X 10.2, see "Mac OS X 10.2: 'Software Update is not able to connect to the Internet' Alert".

Software Update quits unexpectedly (Mac OS X 10.4)

It's possible that Software Update could unexpectedly quit when installing software in Mac OS X 10.4 (via a network connection other than your built-in Ethernet port such as AirPort). Just make a change in Network preferences:

  1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  2. Click Network to display its preference pane.
  3. From the Show pop-up menu, choose Network Port Configurations.
  4. Select the Built-in Ethernet checkbox to enable the port.
  5. Click Apply Now.

Software Update should now work just fine. If you wish, you can go back to Network preferences and disable the built-in Ethernet port again. You don't have to use Ethernet to download updates.

"Server busy" message

This may occur right after a large update is released. Try again later, or try a standalone installer from Apple Downloads.

"Your software is up to date" message (but it isn't)

If you see "Your software is up to date" when you expect updates to appear, there may be an update that is not available through Software Update in System Preferences. Check Apple Downloads.

Some, but not all, updates are displayed

Software Update displays some updates, but not the one you expect to find. Several factors may cause this issue:

  • Some updates are prerequisites for others. Install the visible updates and check for updates again.
  • Some updates replace earlier ones. For example if you install a Mac OS X 10.3.9 Update, you won't see Mac OS X 10.3.8 or security updates included with the later update.
  • Computer-specific updates - Some updates are only for certain computer models and only appear for them.
    "Inactive" updates - With Mac OS X 10.1 and later, it is possible to inactivate updates. If you had previously marked an update inactive, you will not see it again until you reactivate it. See "Mac OS X: How to Make a Software Update Inactive or Active".
  • Application updates often require that the application be in the top level of the Applications folder, and have the original name.

Is Software Update itself up-to-date?

Some updates to the Software Update application itself (for example, Installer Update 1.0 for Mac OS X 10.1) increase reliability of downloading updates. If you have difficulty using Software Update, try downloading a standalone installer of the same update. Software installers are available at Apple Downloads.