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How to update your Mac

Keeping your Mac updated regularly makes you safer, and brings new features.

both sizes of 2021 mac macbook pro models
Image: KnowTechie

Apple releases minor updates for its Mac range throughout the year and a major feature update once a year. This is usually in the fall, bringing new features and improvements. So, how do you update your Mac to take advantage of those improvements?

Smaller updates throughout the year fix security issues. They also often add features that were not quite ready when the major update was released.

Your Mac can automatically update itself, or you can do it manually. Sometimes, you have to do it manually anyway, so it’s good to know how to do so. So, if you’re looking for a quick rundown on how to update macOS, we got you covered.

Here’s how to update your macOS

If you want to make sure your Mac has the latest updates and security fixes, knowing how to quickly update your Mac is great to know. Let’s get right to it.

Before you update your macOS, it’s a good idea to do a Time Machine backup of your Mac. Once that is complete, follow along below.

  1. Click on the Apple icon at the top left cornerscreenshot of mac desktop showing the apple icon

  2. Select System Preferencesscreenshot of mac desktop showing the link to system preferences from the apple menu

  3. Click on Software Updatescreenshot of mac update system preferences with an arrow pointing at the software update icon

  4. If you have an update, you’ll see one of two messages

  5. Update Now

    This installs updates to the installed version of macOS, like macOS Big Sur 11 to macOS Big Sur 11.0.1screenshot of mac software update menu to update your mac

  6. Upgrade Now

    This installs the next major version of macOS, like macOS Montereyscreenshot of mac software update screen

  7. While you’re here, check the box next to Automatically keep my Mac up to datescreenshot of mac software to update your mac

READ MORE: How to add a printer to Mac

Keeping your Mac up to date with Software Update also updates any Apple apps. These include Safari, Messages, Mail, Music, Photos, FaceTime, and Calendar.

Keep your Mac and macOS updated to get the latest features and security updates

Now you’ve got your Mac updated to the latest version of macOS. If you switched on automatic updates, you’ll hopefully never have to worry about this again.

The only thing you’ll have to do is reboot after it automatically installs the next update. If not, you now know how to update your Mac through the System Preferences menu.

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