How to Update MacBook Pro

For optimal function, updating your MacBook Pro from time to time is necessary. 

You can set up automatic and manual updates via the “Software Update” window in the “About This Mac” window. 

I’m Jon, an Apple tech guru, owner of a 2019 MacBook Pro, and your guide to updating your MacBook Pro. 

Apple releases updates to your macOS software periodically, usually sending out notifications that software updates are available. Sometimes you’ll receive update notifications, but other times you don’t. 

There are a few methods to update your MacBook Pro, so let’s dive in and learn how!

How to Update Your MacBook Pro Manually

If you don’t have your MacBook Pro set up to update automatically, you can quickly initiate the update yourself. 

To update your MacBook Pro manually, follow these steps.

Step 1: Go to The Apple Menu

Start by clicking on the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen. In the drop-down menu, select About This Mac. This should be the first option in the menu before ‘System Preferences.’

Step 2: Check for Software Updates

In the ‘About This Mac’ window, click on Software Update.

Once the ‘Software Updates’ window opens, your MacBook Pro will search for new macOS updates. 

If your MacBook Pro has the latest update, the window will say, “Your Mac is up to date,” followed by the OS name and version number. 

But if there are any available updates, it will tell you so in this same area. And there will be an option to install the latest update.

Step 3: Update The Software

If the system finds any updates, click the Update Now button. This will initiate the update process to download and install that particular update. 

Click the Restart Now button to start the installation if the update is already downloaded.

The update may take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours to download and install. The time it takes depends on the update’s size and your internet connection’s speed. 

Once the update downloads, the Mac will prompt you to restart the device to allow it to install the update.

How to Update Your MacBook Pro Automatically

If you’d prefer to have your Mac update automatically, you can easily set it up to do so. Setting it up to automatically update prevents you from missing critical updates, so it’s not a bad idea. 

Note: you might be prompted to enter your password if you change the above setting. 

It’s also important to note that the MacBook Pro must be plugged into the power adapter to download updates automatically. 

So, leave your MacBook Pro plugged in overnight if you want it to update. 

Step 1: Click on The Apple Logo

Start by choosing the Apple logo in the top left corner of the screen. In the drop-down menu, select About This Mac. Next, click Software Update.

Step 2: Set up Automatic Updates

Select the “Automatically keep my Mac up to date” option to set up automatic macOS updates. You allow the system to update whenever a new update is available by checking this box. 

Step 3: Add Advanced Update Options

For extra control, you can utilize the advanced update settings. From the same page, click the ‘Advanced’ button. 

If you’d like your Mac to automatically check for updates, select “Check for updates.”

To have the system download updates without asking, select “Download new updates when available.” If you want the system to install specific updates automatically (macOS, apps, system files, and security updates), check the appropriate box. 

Step 4: Click OK

Once you change the settings to your preferences, click OK to save the changes. 

If you want all updates automatically, check all the boxes in the advanced settings, including “Check for updates,” “Install system data files and security updates,” and “Download new updates when available.”

How to Update Your Apps on Your MacBook Pro

Just like your MacBook Pro’s OS, its apps will need updates from time to time. 

If you don’t have the system set up to update apps automatically, you’ll need to do it manually. 

Step 1: Click on The Apple Logo

Select the Apple Menu in the top left corner of the screen. In the drop-down menu, select the ‘App Store.’ 

Step 2: Update Your Apps

When the App Store window opens, it will show “Upcoming Automatic Updates” (if you have automatic app updates turned on” and “Updated Recently” sections and the associated apps. 

In the below window, you can select “Update All” near the top right or update each app individually. 

How to Change Apps to Update Automatically 

Once you’ve updated your apps, you can change them to update automatically. 

To do this, click on ‘Preferences’ in the top left corner of the screen, next to the Apple logo (when your App Store window is open). 

Change Your App Preferences

After clicking the ‘Preferences’ in the drop-down, the ‘Preferences’ window for the App Store will open. 

In this window, check the box next to ‘Automatic Updates’ to configure the App Store to download and install App updates automatically. 

FAQs

Here are some related questions that you may want to check out about updating MacBook Pro. I’ll answer them briefly.

What’s macOS’s latest version?

At the time of writing, the latest macOS version is the macOS 12.3.1 Monterey, according to the Apple website. 

Is my MacBook Pro too old to update?

As Apple releases new updates, it excludes older models from receiving the update. You need to have a Macbook Pro from early 2015 or later to get the latest update. 

Why Should I update my MacBook Pro? 

Updating your MacBook Pro is a good idea when you want or need access to the newest features in the update.

Updating to the latest release shouldn’t be an issue if you have a newer MacBook Pro. Older models may have issues with certain updates, and even older ones won’t be able to download updates at all, which is something to consider. 

Why aren’t I able to update my MacBook Pro?

There are a few reasons why you might not be able to update your MacBook Pro. If you have an older Mac, Apple may have excluded it from the new update. Other potential reasons for the issue may include:

  • Your MacBook Pro is out of space or needs a reboot
  • Your MacBook Pro is too old (older than 2015)
  • Your internet connection isn’t stable
  • The Apple servers are overwhelmed

How long does it take to update my MacBook Pro?

It can take anywhere from a few minutes to upwards of several hours to update your MacBook Pro. The download and installation time depends on the internet connection speed and the update’s size.

Conclusion

Whether updating your MacBook Pro to access new and improved features or looking for better security, completing the process isn’t hard. 

All you have to do is click on the Apple logo in your toolbar, click ‘About This Mac,’ then select ‘Software Update.’

If you prefer to check things over before updates occur, you could opt for manual updates. Or, if you prefer not to think about it, you can select automatic updates. 

Is your MacBook Pro up to date? Did you have any issues with a recent update? Let us know in the comments below. 

About Jonathon Jachura
Jonathon is a mechanical engineer with over ten years of experience. He is an Apple fan who currently holds a Macbook Pro (512 GB, 16GB RAM), iPad Pro 12.9", iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple Watch 3, and 4x Acer 23" monitors.

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