Unlock Types of Mac Software Update. Essential Guide for Beginners

Software Update in macOS
Software Update in macOS

Intro to Mac Software Update. Essential Guide for Beginners

Locate Software Update in macOS System Preferences

In this post, we will delve into two aspects of Mac Software Update. Firstly, we’ll explore the various types of Software Updates. Secondly, we’ll discuss whether it’s advisable to consistently update them for your Mac whenever updates are available.

Types of Mac Software Update

Apple offers different types of software updates for Mac computers. Here are some of the different kinds of Apple software updates:


These are more frequently released software patches that help secure or enhance the current operating system and are designed to protect your device against security or privacy vulnerabilities. Updates use a second and sometimes a third number to denote increments. For example, macOS 12.1 is an update to macOS 12.


 These are major releases that introduce new features and functionality to the operating system. Upgrades are now incremental patches that result in smaller downloads and faster installation times.

Security Updates

These are releases that address specific security vulnerabilities in the operating system. Apple doesn’t disclose, discuss or confirm security issues until an investigation has occurred and patches or releases are generally available.

Rapid Security Response Updates

These are a type of update that focuses only on fixes for security vulnerabilities.

You can find a comprehensive list of all macOS versions released to date right here for your reference.

Keep updating whenever Mac Software Update is available?

Our recommendation is to consistently update within the same macOS version. For instance, if you’re using macOS Monterey Version 12.6.6 and an update to macOS Monterey Version 12.8 is available, it’s advisable to proceed with the update without hesitation.

About This Mac info

However, if you’re currently on macOS Monterey Version 12.6.6 and intend to update to the latest macOS version, which is Ventura Version 13.5.1, we’ve prepared a checklist for a seamless and trouble-free upgrade process. This ensures a smooth transition without encountering any hiccups during or after the upgrade.

Software Update available for this Mac

Checklist No.1 Mac Software Update

Make sure you have the most recent backup using Time Machine, iCloud, cloud services or an external hard disk. This step is crucial, as in the event of any complications during the upgrade that necessitates a system reset, you can rest assured that your valuable data is securely backed up.

Checklist No.2 Mac Software Update

Ensure that you possess a minimum of 40GB of available storage space on your Mac’s hard drive for both the macOS upgrade and any buffering requirements. To check this, simply click on the Apple logo located at the upper-left corner of your Mac’s screen. Then, select “About This Mac” and go to the “Storage” tab.

Checklist No.3 Mac Software Update

During Apple keynotes, they consistently highlight that after upgrading to the latest macOS version, your Mac will show improved responsiveness and smoother performance. However, this scenario particularly holds true for those utilizing the latest Macs equipped with M-series (M1, M2… M3) processors. On the flip side, if you’re still using an Intel-based processor Mac, each subsequent version you upgrade to might result in reduced speed, increased lag and slower response times.

Checklist No.4 Mac Software Update

If you frequently utilize third-party software like Microsoft Office and Adobe, it’s important to confirm that these applications are compatible with the upcoming macOS version you’re planning to download and upgrade to. The last thing you’d want is for your third-party software to crash or become unusable following the update. Note that it often takes some time for third-party software to be updated for compatibility with the latest macOS version. Moreover, it’s crucial to verify whether your third-party software licenses are upgradeable to be used on the latest macOS.

Checklist No.5 Mac Software Update

This is the most crucial aspect to consider. While the OS upgrade itself is free and straightforward, if any issues arise during or after the upgrade, you might find yourself spending time and maybe money in seeking assistance from an Apple computer specialist to download the macOS version. In case you encounter any issues, we offer a comprehensive guide here for erasing (format), downgrading and installing any macOS version of your choice. Additionally, for downgrading macOS versions, it’s important to note that the current macOS must be erased (format).

Pro Tip 1

Apple usually announce the details and release date of their new macOS version during their annual September Keynote Event. This event usually also includes the unveiling of new iPhone models, iOS and iPad OS software versions.

Additional Info

As of August 18, 2023, the following information outlines the macOS names, release dates, service statuses, and the latest version numbers.

Info from endoflife.date

Interesting Fact

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 2010 models and iMac 2009 models still have the capability to run macOS 10.13 High Sierra. This means even a 13-year-old Mac can continue to utilize Google Chrome for internet browsing, access YouTube and engage in online streaming without many issues. If you notice these old Macs are operating slightly laggy, consider upgrading to a solid-state drive (to replace the older hard drive). This simple modification can revive your older Mac, offering it a renewed level of speed and performance!

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) about Mac Software Update

Is it still possible to use an older macOS version?

Certainly! If the applications you mainly use still support and function normally, then there’s no issue.

If your older macOS can’t update Safari, what steps should you take?

Until August 2023, you can download and use the latest Google Chrome version (internet browser) on a Mac running macOS High Sierra 10.13 (released in 2017).

How frequently updates are released?

Regarding major updates like the transition from macOS 12 Monterey to macOS 13 Ventura, generally release once yearly. For minor updates such as the transition from macOS 13 Ventura 13.0 to 13.1, they may have a monthly or alternating 2 to 3-month release pattern.

Can you skip an update?

Yes, general updates generally don’t bring about significant changes, except for some updated additional features. Nevertheless, it’s highly recommended that you immediately update all the Security Updates that have been released to ensure the safety of your Mac.

Pro Tip 2

If you find those Software Update notifications repeatedly popping up and they’re becoming annoying, you can permanently disable them here:

Software Update Advanced

Contact us

As dedicated Mac users for over 15 years, we understand the frustration and helplessness that arise when your beloved Mac computer unexpectedly breaks down. But fear not! At YP Mac, we wholeheartedly focus on addressing and resolving precisely those distressing situations!

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