Updates and Upgrades

Updated: 31 December 2023

1. What is a Update?

As with any software, bugs can be found or features missing from the orginal software supplied. So, Apple releases a update which fixes a problem they found or a missing feature, this update will replace programs and files on your system with newer versions. Before updating you Mac you should always make sure you have a backup e.g. Time Machine.

2. Where can I get the latest Updates or new versions of OS?

Most patches are available via the Software update tab in the System Preferences or from the Apple Support website.
Updates for applications are available via the Update tan in the App Store tool in the Dock.

Note, that updates are only available for 3 years, some security updates are available near end of life. After that, the only way to get more features or security updates is to update to the next version of macOS.
Software update for Sonoma

When a new upgrade of OS is available, that is displayed first, if you just want updates for existing OS, then click on More Info link to view the updates and download only rhem.

3. I have downloaded a new build for Mac OS but it will not install?

First make sure you have enough room on System disk to save backup files and install the new update. Also, check that your copy of Mac OS version matches the version of the update your have downloaded and they any previous updates may be installed first. A Combo update includes all previous updates, so no previous updates are required first.

4. I have an office or company with lots of Macs, how can I easily deploy patches?

Mac OS Server includes Caching Server, so an update is only download from internet once, and desktop Macs can retreive it from the Mac OS Server.
Content Caching is available on most macs in Sharing in System Preferences.

Alternative, include ManageEngine's Mac Patch Management , Munki , IBM's JamF Pro and Shavik.

5. Can I upgrade to a new version of Mac OS?

Yes, but you need to check that your Mac Hardware is compatible. See About this Mac to see the Make, Model and year of your Mac first and if compatible, you can download the version of Mac OS via the App Store or Download the Mac OS, and it will appear in the Applications folder, you can then run this to upgrade your Mac. Make sure you backup your Mac first and have a copy of the Mac OS on USB or external drive somewhere, in case you need to reinstall your old Mac OS again.

6. Can I uninstall a Update?

No, you will have to restore your OS disk and applications back from a backup to restore it to a point before installing the update. Use Time Machine or other backup software to restore to a previous backed up system.

7. Can I install a new version of an app onto an older version of macOS?

Maybe but it depends if the app checks to see what version of macos or what libraries or hardware it requires to run.

8. Can I install an older version of an app on MacOS?

I may be possible to install an old application e.g. iTunes, on newer version of MacOS, although it may need additional support files and libaries to work correctly.
If the app has a similar names as the current version, rename the old app with the name and version number e.g. iTunes 12, to differentiate between them and possibly place in a different folder than just the normal Applications folder e.g. /Users/username/Sharing or your own Applications folder.

9. Can install an older version of Mac OS on my Mac?

It may be possible, check the App Store and search for older versions of Mac OS. Versions that not be compatible will be should with a No entry sign on it, making it unavailable for your Mac.
You should either wipe your hard disk before installing it, or you can partition your hard drive and install it on the new partition, at least then you can test the old version without ending up with non-functioning mac.

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