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How to get updates for macOS Mojave or later
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If you've upgraded to macOS Mojave or later, follow these steps to keep it up to date:
- Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu , then click Software Update to check for updates.
- 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.
- 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're using an earlier macOS, such as macOS High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, or earlier,* follow these steps to keep it up to date:
- Open the App Store app on your Mac.
- Click Updates in the App Store toolbar.
- Use the Update buttons to download and install any updates listed.
- 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.
* If you're using OS X Lion or Snow Leopard, get OS X updates by choosing Apple menu > Software Update.
How to get updates for iOS
Learn how to update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to the latest version of iOS.
- Learn how to upgrade to the latest version of macOS.
- Find out which macOS your Mac is using.
- You can redownload apps that you previously downloaded from the App Store.
- Your Mac doesn't automatically download large updates when it's using a Personal Hotspot.
Reinstall from macOS Recovery
macOS Recovery makes it easy to reinstall the Mac operating system, even if you need to erase your startup disk first. All you need is a connection to the Internet. If a wireless network is available, you can choose it from the Wi-Fi menu , which is also available in macOS Recovery.
1. Start up from macOS Recovery
To start up from macOS Recovery, turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold one of the following sets of keys on your keyboard. Release the keys when you see an Apple logo, spinning globe, or other startup screen.
Reinstall the latest macOS that was installed on your Mac (recommended).
Upgrade to the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac.
Reinstall the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available.
You might be prompted to enter a password, such as a firmware password or the password of a user who is an administrator of this Mac. Enter the requested password to continue.
When you see the utilities window, you have started up from macOS Recovery.
2. Decide whether to erase (format) your disk
You probably don't need to erase, unless you're selling, trading in, or giving away your Mac, or you have an issue that requires you to erase. If you need to erase before installing macOS, select Disk Utility from the Utilities window, then click Continue. Learn more about when and how to erase.
3. Install macOS
When you're ready to reinstall macOS, choose Reinstall macOS from the Utilities window. Then click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions. You will be asked to choose a disk on which to install.
- If the installer asks to unlock your disk, enter the password you use to log in to your Mac.
- If the installer doesn't see your disk, or it says that it can't install on your computer or volume, you might need to erase your disk first.
- If the installer is for a different version of macOS than you expected, learn about macOS Recovery exceptions.
- If the installer offers you the choice between installing on Macintosh HD or Macintosh HD - Data, choose Macintosh HD.
Please allow installation to complete without putting your Mac to sleep or closing its lid. During installation, your Mac might restart and show a progress bar several times, and the screen might be empty for minutes at a time.
If your Mac restarts to a setup assistant, but you're selling, trading in, or giving away your Mac, press Command-Q to quit the assistant without completing setup. Then click Shut Down. When the new owner starts up the Mac, they can use their own information to complete setup.
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macOS Recovery exceptions
The version of macOS offered by macOS Recovery might vary in some cases:
- If macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or later has never been installed on this Mac, Option-Command-R installs the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available. And Shift-Option-Command-R isn't available.
- If you erased your entire disk instead of just the startup volume on that disk, macOS Recovery might offer only the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available. You can upgrade to a later version afterward.
- If your Mac has the Apple T2 Security Chip and you never installed a macOS update, Option-Command-R installs the latest macOS that was installed on your Mac.
- If you just had your Mac logic board replaced during a repair, macOS Recovery might offer only the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac.
If you can't get macOS Recovery to offer the installer you want, you might be able to use one of the other ways to install macOS.
Other ways to install macOS
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- You can also install macOS from the App Store or Software Update preferences. If you can't install macOS Catalina, you might be able to install an earlier macOS, such as macOS Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, or Yosemite.
- Or create a bootable installer disk, then use that disk to install macOS on your Mac or another Mac.