If you’re switching to macOS from Windows, you might be confused about installing software. Sure, there’s the Mac App Store, but not everything is in there.
How to install operating system updates for Mac computer
To install the latest software updates on your Mac computer please follow these steps.
- Click on the Apple menu in the upper left-hand corner and then select the Software Update menu option. Your Mac will now check for any new software updates.
- After checking for new updates, if there are no updates available it will display a messages stating that Your Software is up to date. If you see this message, you can click on the Quit button to exit the software update procedure. On the other hand, if updates are available you will be shown a dialog box, similar to the one below, asking what you would like to do.
- You should now click on the Show Details button to see what updates are going to be installed on your computer. This will display a screen, as shown below, that displays all the updates that will be installed.
- You can scroll through the list of updates and uncheck those that you do not wish to install. It is suggested, though, that you do not uncheck any of the updates and allow them all to be installed. Once you have reviewed the available updates, click on the Install button to start the update process.
- The operating system will now install all of the updates that were listed in the screen above. While the updates are being installed.
- When the updates are finished installing, your Mac will prompt you to reboot your computer. Please allow the computer to reboot and the updates will now have been successfully installed.
How to configure Software Update on your Mac
Software Update can be configured so that updates are automatically downloaded on a regular basis. This section will provide information on the best way to configure Software Update for your Mac.
- Click on the Apple menu in the upper left-hand corner and then select the System Preferences menu option. The System Preferences window should now open.
- In this window, click on the Software Update icon as shown by the blue arrow above. This will open the Software Update configuration screen.
- In this screen, you can configure some basic options as to how Software Update will work on your computer. The Check Now button will allow you to instantly perform a search for new updates. The Check for updates checkbox allows you to specify if you want to check for updates automatically and how frequently you wish to do so. The Download updates automatically button specifies if you would like software updates to be automatically downloaded to your Mac so that they are ready to be installed.
- It is suggested that you keep both Checks for updates and Download updates automatically checked and to perform these checks daily. This makes sure you are notified of new updates as they occur in the event that there is a critical one that needs to be installed for the safety of your Mac.
How To Install Programs From The Mac App Store
We’re all used to app stores on our phones, but on the desktop, they remain an oddity. Still, the Mac App Store is a decent first place to check. Open the store, search for the app you want, and click “Get” then “Download.”
Your application will download and show up in your “Applications” folder. Updates are all handled by the store, which is convenient, and any application you purchase on one Mac will work on another. There are all kinds of upsides here.
Still, you probably won’t install all of your software this way, because the App Store doesn’t have all the applications you want. Then user choose to install software application from third party app.
How to Uninstall Programs Purchased from the Mac App Store
If you want to uninstall an app you downloaded from the Mac App Store, Apple provides an easy way.
- Press F4 to bring up Launchpad view, and click and hold on an app. Icons will begin to jiggle and any programs you can uninstall from here will have an X in their top left corner.
- Click the X in the top right corner of an app. Select Delete.
- The program is uninstalled.
How To Install Programs From Third Party App
The Mac App Store isn't the only place to get Mac apps. If you download software from a third party, no need to worry about anything just simply follow the secure steps. Here's how to install them on your Mac and safely.
How to install third-party apps on your Mac using .dmg installers
- Visit the vendor's website, or a software collection site you trust (i.e. Steam).
- Click on the download file link, and Safari will begin to download the app. By default, the file will end up in your Downloads folder.
- Open your Downloads folder in the Dock (or go to the Finder, open a new window and click on Downloads in the sidebar). The file ends in .dmg and will look something like this.
- Double-click on the .dmg file. The .dmg file is a disk image. Once the disk image opens, open the Installer app within it. Your Mac may tell you that the installer is an application downloaded from the Internet, and ask you if you're sure you want to open it. Click the Open button.
- Follow the directions given by the installer to complete the installation.
- After you're done, make sure to drag the installer disk image into the trash can to unmount it from your Mac desktop.
- Depending on what the application does, some app makers just provide the application itself to download. If you see an application icon in your Downloads folder, just drag it into your Applications folder before you try to open it.
Other Archive Files, and Loose Application Icons
- Occasionally, applications will come in ZIP, RAR, or 7Zip archives instead of the standard DMG. In these cases, you need to open the archive.
- ZIP files open fine out of the box, but you’ll need something like The Unarchiver in order to open RAR and 7Zip archives on macOS. Once you open the archive, you’ll see the Application icon appear in the same folder.
- Simply drag this icon to your Applications folder and you’re done.
- Some applications don’t come in any sort of archive at all; instead, you’ll download the application file directly. In these cases, simply drag the icon to Applications in order to install it.
PKG Installers: Installation Wizards Like On Windows
- Every once and a while you’ll come across a PKG file. Sometimes this will be inside a DMG; sometimes you will download it directly. In all cases, you need to double-click the PKG file to run it instead of dragging it somewhere. You’ll see an interface not that different from Windows installation wizards.
- These sorts of installers can do things the drag and drop installers can’t do, like installing system services and putting files elsewhere on the computer. When you’re done installing the app, you can delete the PKG file and any DMG file it came in (after ejecting it, of course).
How to see what updates have been installed on your Mac
In the event that you need to see what updates have been previously installed on your computer, you can go into the Software Updates preferences screen to see them. To do this, click on the Apple (Apple Menu) menu in the upper left-hand corner and then select the System Preferences menu option. When the System Preferences window opens, double-click on the Software Update icon. Once you are in the Software Update preferences screen, click on the Installed Software option.
The Installed Software screen will show the name of all the applications, and their updates, and when they were installed on your Mac. When scrolling through the list of software, you may notice that the same software may be listed twice. This is because they are different updates to the same application, which is indicated by the different version numbers.