Where Is Software Update In System Preferences Mac

Where is preferences on mac

How to get updates for macOS Mojave or later

Oct 18, 2019  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. However, people already running macOS Mojave can also reach this same Software Update window by first going to System Preferences. Here's how you do it: Here's how you do it: Click the Apple icon in the top-left corner of the screen (on the left of the top menu bar).

If you've upgraded to macOS Mojave or later, follow these steps to keep it up to date:

  1. Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu , then click Software Update to check for updates.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. Open the App Store app on your Mac.
  2. Click Updates in the App Store toolbar.
  3. Use the Update buttons to download and install any updates listed.
  4. 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 more

  • 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.
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System Preferences
Operating systemmacOS
TypeControl panel

System Preferences is an application included with the macOS operating system that allows users to modify various system settings which are divided into separate Preference Panes. The System Preferences application was introduced in the first version of Mac OS X to replace the control panel that was included in the classic Mac OS. Prior to Mac OS X, a control panel is a small application which enabled the user to modify software and hardware settings such as the sound volume and desktop pattern. Control panels differ from extensions in that they allow the user to specify options, whereas extensions provide the user with no interface for setting preferences. In many software distributions Extensions provided the functionality and the corresponding Control Panel provided all the configuration options.



Before the release of Mac OS X in 2001, users modified system settings using control panels. Control panels, like the preference panes found in System Preferences, were separate resources (cdevs) that were accessed through the Apple menu's Control Panel.

A rudimentary form of system preferences dates back to 1983 with the Apple Lisa Preferences menu item. This included a subset of configurable settings called 'convenience settings' as well as other settings that adapted according to the programs and devices installed on the Lisa Office System. The original control panels in the earliest versions of the classic Mac OS were all combined into one small Desk Accessory. Susan Kare designed the interface for the original control panel, and tried to make it as user-friendly as possible. This design was used until System 3 when separate control panel files ('cdev's) were added, accessible solely through the control panel.

With the debut of System 7 the control panels were separated into individual small application-like processes accessible from the Finder, and by a sub-menu in the Apple menu provided by Apple Menu Options. Mac OS 9, the last release of the Mac OS before Mac OS X, included 32 control panels. By Mac OS 9, many control panels had been rewritten as true applications.


When Mac OS X was released, preference panes replaced control panels. Preference panes are not applications but loadable bundles for the System Preferences application, similar to the arrangement used under System 6. By default, System Preferences organizes preference panes into several categories. In the latest version of System Preferences, included with Mac OS X v10.7, these categories are 'Personal', 'Hardware', 'Internet & Wireless', and 'System'. A fifth category, 'Other', appears when third-party preference panes are installed. Users can also choose to sort preference panes alphabetically. System Preferences originally included a customizable toolbar into which frequently-used preference pane icons could be dragged, but this was removed in Mac OS X v10.4 and replaced with a static toolbar that featured back and forward navigation buttons and a search field.

Apple has added new preference panes when major features are added to the operating system and occasionally merges multiple panes into one. When Exposé was introduced with Mac OS X v10.3, a corresponding preference pane was added to System Preferences. This was replaced by a single 'Dashboard & Exposé' pane in Mac OS X v10.4, which introduced Dashboard. When the .Mac service was replaced by MobileMe, the corresponding preference pane was also renamed.

Apple System Preferences Download


Mac OS 9[edit]

The control panels included with Mac OS 9 are:[1][2]

  • Appearance
  • Apple Menu Options
  • Date & Time
  • DialAssist
  • Energy Saver
  • File Exchange
  • File Sharing
  • File Synchronization
  • General Controls
  • Internet
  • Keyboard
  • Keychain Access
  • Launcher
  • Location Manager
  • Memory
  • Modem
  • Monitors
  • Mouse
  • Multiple Users
  • Numbers
  • QuickTime Settings
  • Remote Access
  • Sound
  • Speech
  • Startup Disk
  • TCP/IP
  • Text
  • Web Sharing

OS X Mountain Lion[edit]

OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) includes the following preference panes:[3]

Users & Groupscontrol user creation/deletion, administrator privileges and user limitations.
Generalchanges the general color scheme of the OS (Aqua or Graphite), as well as placement of scroll arrows and font smoothing.
Bluetoothpair Bluetooth devices and edit Bluetooth settings.
CDs & DVDsused to set default settings upon inserting blank CD/DVDs, as well as music CDs, picture CDs and video DVDs.
Date & Timeused to set the date and time of the computer, as well as how the clock appears on the menu bar.
Desktop & Screensaverused to set the desktop picture as well as the screensaver, and their settings.
Displaysused to set screen resolution and color settings.
Dockadjust the dock size as well as magnification and position on screen.
Energy Saveroptimize energy settings as well as set sleep times and processor usage.
Mission Controlchanges the preferences for the Mission Control application, such as showing the Dashboard as its own space or automatically rearranging spaces based on most recent use. Also sets Active Screen Corners and keyboard and mouse settings to activate certain applications such as Launchpad or to show the Desktop.
iCloudconfigure iCloud, Apple's cloud storage and cloud computing service. This pane was added in version 10.7.2 along with the release of iOS 5.
Inkset handwriting recognition settings (only appears when a graphics tablet is connected).
Language & Textset the default OS language as well as numerical, measurement, currency, date, and time formats.
Keyboardset keyboard settings
Mouseset mouse preferences. If using a Magic Mouse, provides preferences for the multitouch gestures like double-tapping with two fingers and swiping between pages.
Networkset Ethernet, AirPort, Modem and VPN Settings.
Notificationsconfigures settings for notifications, such as the manner they're presented in (banner, alert, etc.) and which applications can display notifications and which ones can't.
Parental Controlsmanage parental controls for accounts, and view account usage data.
Print & Scanset the default printer as well as scanner settings.
Profilesonly appears if the computer is enrolled in a device management solution
Security & Privacyset 'FileVault' and account security settings, and set up the firewall.
Sharingset the computer name, and sharing and remote management services.
Software Updateset default times to check for updates, and view updates already installed.
Soundset alert sound, volume and input/output options.
Dictation & Speechset the computer's default voice, set up speech recognition, configure settings for the dictation feature, and other speech settings.
Spotlightset the preferences for the Spotlight system-wide search application
Startup Diskset the default disk, for the computer to boot into.
Time Machineset the Time Machine drive and backup options.
Trackpadadjust tracking, clicking, and scrolling speed. Also allows users to adjust multi-touch gestures on newer MacBooks
Accessibilitymake the system more accessible for those with sight, hearing and other impairments.

In OS X Mountain Lion, the 'Universal Access' pane is changed to 'Accessibility' and 'Speech' is changed to 'Dictation & Speech'.


Where Is Software Update In System Preferences Mac Download

  1. ^'Mac OS X 10.0: Using Mac OS 9 Control Panels in Classic Environment'. support.apple.com. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  2. ^'GUIdebook > Screenshots > Settings menu'. www.guidebookgallery.org. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  3. ^'Mac OS X 10.6: System preferences'. support.apple.com. Retrieved January 6, 2015.

Mac System Preferences App

External links[edit]

Where Is Preferences On Mac

  • Mac Basics: Set your preferences, Apple Support
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