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Follow this guide to update each app on your Mac

Updating apps on your Mac isn’t always as easy as you want it to be, especially if you have a mix of apps in stock, App Store and non-App Store.


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Keeping the apps on your Mac up to date is the best way to fix known bugs, improve performance, and access new features. However, the procedure for installing updates varies for App Store apps, native programs, and apps that you downloaded through your web browser.

So if you are feeling confused, here is exactly what you need to do to update all apps on your Mac.

Update apps using the Mac App Store

The Mac App Store makes it easy to download and install apps. It also allows you to update them just as quickly. Here’s how:

  1. Open the App store.
  2. To select Updates from the sidebar. Then wait a few seconds and you will see a list of pending app updates.
  3. Select the Update button next to the app you want to update. Or select Update all to apply each available application update.

Updates screen on the Mac App Store.

Alternatively, you can search for an app using the App Store To look for bar. If the app has a pending update, you will see a Update option directly in the search results.

Related: Understanding Apple App Store Privacy Labels

Enable Automatic App Store Updates

If you have a habit of forgetting to update the apps you downloaded from the App Store, you can ask your Mac to keep them updated by itself. Here’s how:

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  1. Open the App store.
  2. To select App store > Preferences in the menu bar.
  3. Check the box next to Automatic updates.

Enabling automatic updates from the App Store on Mac.

Update stock apps with a macOS update

Stock apps, such as Calendar, Music, and Notes, do not receive updates through the Mac App Store. The only way to update them is to update the Mac’s system software. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Apple menu and select System Preferences.
  2. To select Software update. Then, wait a few seconds while your Mac checks for the latest system software updates.
  3. To select Update now.

Software update screen on a Mac.

You can also configure your Mac to keep system software up to date automatically by checking the box next to Automatically keep my Mac up to date.

Rarely, Apple may release optional updates for its original apps, such as Safari, which you can install separately. If you see a Other updates are available section of the Software Update screen, select More information, choose the available app updates, and select Install now.

Related: How to Update Safari on a Mac

Update apps using app settings

The App Store does not list updates for apps you have installed by downloading them directly through your browser. So if you have a non-App Store app, you need to search for a Check for updates option in the app itself. Usually, you’ll find it in the app’s menu bar, in the status menu (if the app inserts a status icon), or on the app’s internal menu. Settings Where Preferences page.


Look for the Updates option in an application's menu bar.

If you’re having trouble updating an app, open its On screen and write down the version number. Then compare the versions by going to the developer’s website. If you find a more up-to-date version, remove the app from your Mac and install the most recent version.

Some apps (for example, third-party browsers like Chrome and Firefox) have the ability to update automatically and will not offer a manual update option.


Third-party application update tool for Mac.

An easier way to keep apps up to date on your Mac is to use app update tools like MacUpdater and CleanMyMac X. You can use them to check for newer versions of App Store and non-App Store apps. . You can then perform the updates manually or upgrade to a paid plan and configure the update tools themselves to apply the updates.

To download: MacUpdater (free and premium version available)

To download: CleanMyMac X (Free, subscription available)

Always keep your Mac apps up to date

Taking the time to update the different apps on your Mac helps keep everything in top shape. It’s also a great opportunity to review and remove any programs you no longer use.


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