How to manage system updates on macOS

System updates are vital to your Mac, as they aim to improve your computer’s security and overall health. Sometimes, however, you may want to delay installing a new update until you’re sure it won’t cause major problems. You also don’t want your machine to update when you’re in the middle of something.

Fortunately, there are many options for controlling how and when your Mac updates. Want to choose when to install updates? You can be sure that your device is not automatically updated. Don’t want to worry about updates? Your Mac will take care of it.

To manage your Mac’s updates:

  • Click the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the menu bar
  • Click on “About This Mac”. If you’re wondering, you’ll be able to see what version of macOS you’re using.

About this Mac window

This window will show you which version of macOS your device is running.

  • Next, select “Software Update”. All available updates will appear in this window.

Software Update window

If there are updates available for your device, you will see them here.

  • You can check the box next to “Automatically keep my Mac up to date” to keep your device automatically up to date.
  • If you don’t want your Mac to update automatically and the box is checked, uncheck it. You will see a popup asking if you are sure. Click “Turn Off Automatic Updates” and enter your password when asked.

Pop-up to turn off automatic updates

Click “Turn Off Automatic Updates” to confirm.

  • You can click “Advanced…” in the Software Update window for more options, such as whether your Mac will automatically check for updates, download and install them. You can also choose whether your device automatically updates your apps (as opposed to system and security updates).

Advanced Software Update options

Check the boxes next to anything you want your device to process automatically.

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