How to update your Mac's operating system and apps

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Apple offer free operating system updates to all Mac users, so update your Mac regularly to get the latest features as soon as they're available. You'll help to keep your Mac safe too, with security fixes and improvements part of the updates.

Installing App Store updates

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Apple's operating system updates come through the App Store, and Macs usually checks for them automatically. They can include updates for App Store apps, as well as the operating system itself.

A red badge shows on the App Store's dock icon when updates are available. Click it to open the App Store, then click Updates at the top.

 
 
 
 
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You'll see any available updates for the operating system, as well as ones for any apps that have been installed through the App Store. Click Update All, or do them separately, it's up to you.

 

Upgrade to a new version of MacOS

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Apple usually bring out a new version of their operating system (MacOS, formerly OS X) every year. Upgrades often bring new features, under-the-bonnet changes, and sometimes a new look and feel for the end user, but can take a few hours to download because the file size is so large.

We'd also recommend backing up your Mac before you start upgrading, just in case anything goes wrong.

Check for new operating system versions by going to Apple > App Store > Updates.

 
 
 
 
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You'll see a banner advert for it in the App Store's Updates tab if there's an upgrade available. Click the link to read more information about the upgrade, or click the Free Upgrade button to download it.

When the download's finished, you can install it straight away or leave it for later. You won't be able to use your Mac while it's upgrading, so it might be a good idea to start installing it before you go to bed, for example.

If you're keeping an eye on the upgrade while it's happening, you'll see the computer reboot several times. This is completely normal, and your apps and files will still be there the next time you log in.

Hopefully that's all you need to know to keep your Mac up-to-date, but you can contact an expert from Team Knowhow if you'd like to know more.

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