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macOS updates and upgrades

macOS updates improve the stability, performance and security of your Mac, and they include updates for Safari, iTunes and other apps that are part of macOS

How to update the software on your Mac

How to get updates for macOS Mojave or later

If you’ve upgraded to macOS Mojave or later, follow these steps to keep it up to date: 

  1. Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu , then click Software Update to check for updates.
  2. If any updates are available, click the Update Now button to install them. Or click “More info” to see details about each update and select specific updates to install.
  3. When Software Update says that your Mac is up to date, the installed version of macOS and all of its apps are also up to date. That includes Safari, iTunes, Books, Messages, Mail, Calendar, Photos and FaceTime.

To find updates for iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Numbers, Keynote and other apps that were downloaded separately from the App Store, open the App Store on your Mac, then click the Updates tab.

To automatically install macOS updates in the future, including apps that were downloaded separately from the App Store, select “Automatically keep my Mac up to date”. Your Mac will notify you when updates require it to restart, so you can always choose to install those later.

 

How to get updates for earlier macOS versions

If you are using an unsupported operating system then you are highly encouraged to upgrade to a supported operating system as soon as possible.

If you’re using an earlier macOS, such as macOS High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan or earlier, follow these steps to keep it up to date:

  1. Open the App Store app on your Mac.
  2. Click Updates in the App Store toolbar.
  3. Use the Update buttons to download and install any updates listed.
  4. When the App Store shows no more updates, the installed version of macOS and all of its apps are up to date. That includes Safari, iTunes, iBooks, Messages, Mail, Calendar, Photos and FaceTime. Later versions may be available by upgrading your macOS.

To automatically download updates in the future, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, click App Store, then select “Download newly available updates in the background”. Your Mac will notify you when updates are ready to install.

 

How to upgrade the OS on your Mac

Operating System (OS) upgrades are performed in-place. This means that the new OS is installed over the top of the old operating system, leaving files and applications in place.

If you aren't able to upgrade to the latest version of macOS, you can find links below to directly download the relevant version required. Each link provides information on which Macs can run which OS version, specified by production date.

Information on when your Mac was made can be found by doing the following:

  1. From the Apple menu , click About this Mac.
  2. From the box appearing, you will have a line that reads, e.g.:

              iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2013)

 

Unsupported OS versions do not receive updates for the OS, applications or security so any problems that have arisen since the OS has been out of support will not have been fixed. As such it is advisable to be running one of the supported OS versions, if possible.

Please ensure you have up to date backups before upgrading the operating system in case of unforeseen issues. Apple provides Time Machine as part of the operating system and is a good option. For further information please see this page https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT201250

 

Supported Operating Systems

Upgrading to Catalina (macOS 10.15) https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT201475

Upgrading to Mojave (macOS 10.14) https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT210190

 

Unsupported Operating Systems

Upgrading to El Capitan https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT206886

Upgrading to Sierra https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208202

Upgrading to High Sierra (macOS 10.13) https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT208969

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