How to update your Mac

what to know

  • Update macOS Ventura (13) or later: System Settings > General > Software Update .
  • Update macOS Mojave (10.14) or later: System Preferences > Software Update .
  • Update macOS High Sierra (10.13) or earlier via the App Store .

This article explains how to get the latest updates for your Mac operating system.

Before updating, it's a good idea to create a backup to ensure you don't lose any data, especially when installing a new major version. You can do this easily using Apple's free Time Machine backup tool and an external hard drive.

If you currently have macOS Ventura or later, follow these steps:

Not sure which version of macOS you're running? Open the Apple menu in the upper left corner of the screen, then click About This Mac . A window will open showing your Mac's operating system information and other important specifications.

  1. Select System Settings from the Apple menu .

  2. Go to General > Software Update .

  3. Your computer will look for the latest version and prompt you to install the update, if available.

    On this screen, you can select the (i) button to turn on automatic updates for macOS and App Store apps.

Follow these steps to update macOS Mojave, Catalina, Big Sur, or Monterey:

Some older Mac users have reported issues after upgrading to macOS Monterey, saying it could cause serious problems for iMacs, Mac minis, and MacBook Pros. Before attempting to update, check with Apple to make sure your device can be upgraded to macOS Monterey.

  1. Click System Preferences in the Apple menu.

  2. Click Software Update .

  3. Click Update Now . If you haven't upgraded to macOS Big Sur yet, click Upgrade Now .

    If you want updates to be installed automatically, check the box next to "Automatically keep my Mac up to date."

Older Macs cannot download updates using the above method. If your Mac is running High Sierra (10.13), Sierra (10.12), or an earlier operating system, follow the steps below to update.

  1. Open the App Store from the Apple menu.

  2. Click Updates in the left sidebar.

  3. If a macOS update is available, click Update . You can also download updates for Mac apps on this screen.

Apple usually releases a new version of macOS once a year. The latest version of macOS Sonoma is compatible with these computers. Starting with Mavericks (10.9) in 2013, every new version of macOS is free to all Mac users.

Apple regularly releases updates to its Mac operating system, macOS. While it may be tempting to delay or put off installing these updates entirely, it's crucial to keep your Mac up to date. Apple's software updates often fix security holes, general bugs, and sometimes even add new features.

Here's how to upgrade your Mac to the latest version of macOS it supports:

  1. Launch the app store .

  2. Search macOS .

  3. Find the macOS version you want to download and click View.

  4. Click "Get" to start downloading. You may need to enter your Apple ID password or use Touch ID to confirm.

  5. Once the download is complete, the installation should start automatically. This may take several hours to complete.

  • You can use the App Store to keep software updated on your Mac. Open the Apple menu to see if there are any available updates, and select App Store if available. When the App Store opens, select Updates .

  • Select the Finder icon in the Dock and then select Applications . Next, drag the software you want to remove to the Trash icon. Alternatively, if it's in a folder, check to see if it has an uninstaller, then run the installer.

  • Transfer documents, photos, and other files to iCloud to free up storage space. You can also go into the Storage Management tool and select Optimize Storage , which will automatically delete Apple TV movies and shows you've watched, as well as older email attachments. Finally, set the Recycle Bin to automatically delete its contents after 30 days to prevent these unwanted files from piling up.