Software Updates - macOS Applying Updates

This document provides instructions on applying macOS Software Updates and how to avoid installing major upgrades while still applying required security updates.

Installing macOS Updates

Apple provides instructions for applying updates to macOS, Safari, Xcode, etc. at

Applying Security Updates Only

We encourage all users to check with Biochemistry IT before applying major operating system upgrades.  We may know of bugs, potential software compatibility issues, etc. that you will want to be aware of.  You can view your current macOS version by clicking the Apple menu at the top left of your screen and selecting About This Mac. Your current OS will be listed next to macOS (

Major version upgrades are when the operating system name (or first number) changes. For example, macOS Ventura 13.x to macOS Sonoma 14.x. Any upgrade with the same operating system name, or first number, remain the same is consider a minor or security update and does not require discussion with Biochemistry IT. For example, macOS Sonoma 14.1 to macOS Sonoma 14.2.1 is a 'minor' upgrade and should be applied as soon as reasonably possible.

If your computer is not running the latest OS, you can apply the required security updates without performing the major upgrade. You can view the available security updates by scrolling to the bottom of the Software Update window.  The window may appear slightly different on different versions of macOS but you should see an area to view specific, other, additional software updates with a More Info... link. When you click that link, you'll see the updates available for your current macOS version.

Other Updates Available Window

Please note that UW Policy requires all computers used for university work receive security updates and that they be running a currently supported version of the operating system and other software. Apple typically provides security updates for the three (3) most recent versions of macOS. Any computers unable to run one of those versions may need additional security controls to continue to operate.

Apple Software Update Information

Information about the security updates included in Apple Software Updates is available at

Information about features and bug fixes in the currently supported versions of macOS is available at:

Keywordsnudge Mac OS major operating system update Sonoma Ventura Monterey Big Sur Catalina   Doc ID133728
OwnerBiochem I.GroupCALS Biochemistry IT
Created2023-12-22 10:52:16Updated2023-12-22 11:45:35
SitesCALS Biochemistry Information Technology, CALS Information Technology
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