MacMost Now 418: Using Software Update

While it is easy to take Software Update for granted, there are actually a few options you can choose and methods of delaying, ignoring or finding out more about the updates. You can also manually download most Apple updates.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 418: Using Software Update.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now!
On today's episode, let's take a look at software update.
So "Software Update" is one of those parts of Mac OS X that you got to take for granted. But there are several settings that you could adjust and things that might be useful to know about "Software Update".
Let's take a look!
So all software update runs automatically every day, week or month; you can run it manually at any time by choosing "Apple Menu"->"Software Update" and it will take about a minute or two sometimes to check for new updates. So when it's done you get this which gives you three choices:
Either to show the details for the updates, skip the update for now or just update without even looking at the details.
Usually you want to click on "Show Details" and see the complete list.
Here we've got three updates that are going to be installed, you can check or uncheck each one to tell me what exactly gets to start right now - and you get information in the middle there about each install.
Now notice: At the bottom it says that you must restart your computer after the updates are installed. But if I deselect Safari and Mac OS X, and just leave iTunes, that goes away - that means iTunes by itself
doesn't need a restart.
Now another thing I could do here is: I could ignore an update. So you do that by going to "Update"->"Ignore Update" with the update selected.
So the reasons you may want to do this are, say if it's an update with something you're not really using, like maybe have the trial of iWork and you don't need the updates, because you don't use it and you don't actually have the full version so you would want to maybe skip it completely. And that means that not only will that update skip, but future updates for that software would not appear here in "Software Update".
If you done that a few times and want to see what it is that you've skipped or maybe start updating something you weren't updating before, you can go to "Reset ignored Updates" and it will put all ignored updates back in this list and you can ignore the ones you want to keep ignoring and leave
other ones there to update from now on.
Now if you want to change your preferences, you can do that right here from "Software Update". You can also got to the "System Preferences" and look for the "Software Update" set. Either way, it's going to bring up the same thing, which will be system preferences for software update.
So you can schedule the checks for weekly, daily or monthly right here, you can also select to download updates automatically, which means updates will automatically download in the background but won't actually install until you run "Software Update" and say it's okay.
Now - one reason you may not want have that checked, say, on a laptop, is if you're on different WiFi connections at school or at work or traveling and you just don't wanted to use the bandwidth until you get home.
Here you do also see a list of installed software here, it shows you a complete list of everything "Software Update" has done, just so you have a record.
Now, if ever for some reason you want to download something manually and not use "Software Update", there is a way to do that right here inside of "Software Update" itself: You can go to the "Go to Apple Download Page" link and that will launch Safari and take you to the downloads page:
We should have all the different downloads that are available in "Software Update", at least the major ones, and you could download them manually and install them yourself. Now, this could be very usefull if you'd have more than one Mac in your house and you want to download this once and sort of distribute it to all your computers instead of each one running its own "Software Update".
You can get to this page yourself without using "Software Update" by just going to .
I recommend, if you have a desktop machine and a good broadband connection, to set software update for daily. If you're traveling a lot or maybe your connection is not fast set it to weekly, but I don't ever recommend setting it to monthly or turning it off on relying on remembering to do it manually.
If you had a MacBook it's very easy to just to dismiss the "Software Update" if it appears while you're travelling or away from home and then get back to it later.
I update everything immediately, as soon as it appears in Software Update, though others have preferred to wait to see if there's any critical flaw in the new version of, say, Safari, your iTunes or OS X, but I don't do that. I find those problems are very rare and only happen to a few machines when they do happen and it's just far better to actually keep your machine up to date when an update appears.
And of course: "Software Update" is only for Mac OS X and any Apple software. Any third party software usually has its own update functions, sometimes it's a many choice, sometimes it happens automatically when you run the program.
So make sure not only to keep all of your Apple software up to date, but all of your third party software as well.
Hope you liked this look at "Software Update", util next time!
This is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 3 Responses to “MacMost Now 418: Using Software Update”

    Jackman Robert
    9 years ago

    Software update should be in a recommended mode.

    will Goodall
    8 years ago

    will accepting updates gradually fill up the h-disk?

      8 years ago

      No. Updates will replace the parts of the OS that are updated. In some cases you may actually save space as parts that are updated are smaller (more optimized). But you should do each update.

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