Thankfully Apple releases plenty of updates for its most current macOS operating system doing everything they can to prevent any malicious third parties from accessing your Mac computers. However to benefit from these security updates, fixes and enhancements you need to know how to update macOS or set up your computer to automatically check and remind you to install updates as they are released by Apple.
This quick guide will take you through the process of updating macOS and how you can check to see whether your Mac computer can accept the latest operating system released by Apple for free. Unlike Microsoft Apple does not charge for new releases of its macOS operating system. Apple does however include a number of applications with its macOS operating system including its browser Safari together with its word processor Pages and spreadsheet software Numbers as well as a number of other useful applications all for free.
Before we enter into the process of updating your macOS operating system it is worth mentioning that you should always be backing up your Mac computer to a Time Machine or external storage solution such as a NAS or connected SSD your hard drive. Before carrying out any upgrades Apple recommends that you backup your Mac by using the integrated Time Machine backup software already installed on your Mac. Simply connect an external storage device to your Mac such as a Thunderbolt drive or USB drive to use as your backup disk. It is worth remembering that you cannot use this disc for anything else and if you already have data on a drive it will be deleted when you carry out the first backup from your Mac.
How to update macOS
Apple has made it very easy to use their integrated software update process to make sure that your Mac computer is always running the latest security patches and is benefiting from the latest fixes and enhancements to the macOS operating system. Using the Software Update option is not only easier than upgrading by other methods but is also faster and also requires less storage space to download and install the upgrade. It also only allows you to install upgrades that are compatible with your Mac making sure that you are fully up-to-date with all the security currently available for the age of your Mac computer whether it be a laptop or desktop. Simply follow the instructions below.
- Enter the Apple Menu in the top left-hand corner of your screen
- Then choose System Settings or System Preferences depending on the age of your operating system
- If you chose System Preferences select Software Update
- If you chose System Settings select General and then choose Software Update
Your Apple computer within automatically check for the latest software updates and check for new software that can be installed on your computer if new software is found and install button will appear depending on the macOS version you are running it could be named Update Now, Upgrade Now, Install Now, or Restart Now. Simply press this button to start the process of installing the latest security patches and updates to your computer. During the process you might be asked to enter your Apple ID administrator password.
If no new updates are available your computer is fully up-to-date and all software compatible with your Mac computer is already installed and there is nothing else needed to be done.
Upgrading older macOS operating systems
If you are have an older Apple Mac computer you might be interested to know that you can download old versions of the operating system directly from the Apple support site where Apple has made everything from Lion 10.7 available to Apple users and install it manually if desired or needed.
Which macOS is installed?
As mentioned before Apple recommends using the latest or rather newest macOS that is compatible with your Mac. You can check which macOS operating system your computer is using by going to the Apple menu in the top left-hand corner of your screen and selecting the About This Mac. Jump over to the Apple support site for a full list of all the previously released operating systems and the current version available.
If you are still experiencing issues trying to update your Mac computer it might be worth jumping over to the official Apple support site to see what might be causing your issue. Failing that you can always book an appointment with an Apple Genius Bar representative and take your MacBook or Mac desktop computer into your nearest Apple Store for them to help you update macOS on your Mac.
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