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Keeping up with software updates on Macs

(Editor’s note: This article by Dennis Devenney was first published in the College of Education’s Catalyst newsletter, December 2011.  It has been edited for the IT News blog.)

It is important that you keep your software up-to-date with the most current version. The following steps will ensure that you have the latest version of your software and correct errors that may occur with older versions.

Best Practice for installing Software Updates:

1. Quit all applications and turn off applications from auto-starting when computer starts up. Disconnect any FireWire or USB devices before updating. You can then re-connect the devices one by one after the update process is complete and the system has restarted. Avoid performing any other operations on the computer while performing installs or updates.

2. Run “Disk Utility.” This application is in the Utility folder, which is inside the Applications folder. Select your Mac HD, then click on Repair Disk Permissions. This may take between 5 to 40 minutes to complete.

3. Now do the Software Update. This is located under the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your computer screen. If there are more than four applications to update, select only four at a time to do the update. Click on Install the Software Updates.

Sftware Update window

Note: I never install all updates at once, especially if they require Restart of the computer for each update (the triangle to the left). This has been a debatable issue so do as you feel, just my opinion. Security Updates are usually big, so I would recommend doing them separately.

4. When the Software Updates are completed, repeat step 2. You are done until the next Software Update. Please remember it is important to keep doing these updates.

One more thing… Never Move Applications!
Please make sure all Apple-installed applications and utilities are in their original locations. Moving one of these applications to a different location on the hard drive can lead to an incomplete or corrupted update and system.

About Betsy Edwards

• Web/information specialist in Information Technology Services • Editor/writer, K-State IT communications • IT News blog moderator • ETDR specialist