How To Update macOS: The FAST Way



macOS updates aren’t just for new features. macOS updates deliver important bug and security fixes. Here’s how to update macOS.


Wondering how to update macOS? You’ve come to the right place. Read on!

What Do macOS Updates Do?

Wondering what macOS updates do? More than you would think.

Of course, everyone knows that Apple releases major updates to the Mac’s operating system every year.

These big updates are giving special branding – names for the new operating system.

For example, macOS 13 is branded macOS Ventura. macOS 12 is branded macOS Monterey. And macOS 11 is branded macOS Big Sur.

These major releases usually feature a fair amount of new features – big-name improvements to the operating system itself, or the pre-installed apps that macOS comes with.

Then there are what many refer to as the “point updates.” These are updates like macOS 11.2 or macOS 12.4. These point updates don’t deliver as many new features at x.0 updates, but they still deliver at least a few new features with every x.1 etc update.

Finally, there are what some call the “point-point-updates.” These are updates like macOS 11.2.1 and macOS 13.0.1. These point-point-updates usually add no new major features and are relatively minor in scale – fixing bugs or patching security flaws.

So to answer the question “what do macOS updates do?” – know that the major ones introduce a slew of new features, the mid-tier ones introduce a new feature or two (usually_ and the minor ones are almost always limited to bug and security patches.

How To Update macOS: The FAST Way
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How Important Are macOS Updates?

macOS updates are very important much of the time. That’s because all macOS updates usually have built-in bug and security patches. This is why it’s always a good idea to update macOS software regularly.

Of course, for the major macOS updates – the macOS x.0 releases – it’s debatable if you should update right away. Some people prefer to hold off on x.0 releases and instead wait for, for example, macOS 13.1 instead of installing macOS 13.0. The reason for the wait is that some see macOS x.0 releases as buggy and it’s best to wait for any major bugs to be worked out before they install it on their machines.

Bonus: Here’s how to delete individual Mac apps.

How To Update macOS: macOS 13 Ventura & Later

How you updated macOS depends on which macOS you are currently running. The process is slightly different because in macOS 13 Ventura, Apple redesigned the old System Preferences app (now called System Settings), so the steps are slightly different. 

So if your Mac is already running macOS 13.0 Ventura or later, here’s how you updated macOS:

  1. Open the System Settings app (you’d find it in your Applications folder in the Finder or by Going to the Apple menu and clicking System Settings).
  2. In System Settings, click General.
  3. Now click Software Update. macOS will now automatically check for updates. If it says an update is available, follow the instructions to update macOS.

How To Update macOS: macOS 12 Monterey & Earlier

If you’re Mac is still running macOS 12 Monetary or earlier, the update instructions for macOS are a bit different because macOS 12 and earlier uses the old System Preferences app and layout.

But not to worry, updating macOS on Macs running macOS 12 and earlier is still easy. Here’s what to do:

  1. Open the System Preferences app (you’d find it in your Applications folder in the Finder or by Going to the Apple menu and clicking System Preferences).
  2. In System Preferences, click the Software Update menu item. macOS will now automatically check for updates. If it says an update is available, follow the instructions to update macOS.

And that’s it! You now know how to update macOS!

Want to customize your Mac? Check out how to change macOS icons here!

And check out:

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Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.
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