Maintaining Mac OS X

As with the other software it produces, Apple frequently updates Mac OS X to improve security and reliability, fix bugs, and so on. You can configure the Software Update utility to help you maintain Mac OS X to the most current version.

  1. Open the System Preferences utility.

  2. Click the Software Update icon. You will see the Software Update window (see Figure A.5). This window has two panes. The Update Software pane enables you to configure automatic updates and to update your software manually. The Installed Updates tab shows you the updates you have installed previously.

    Figure A.5. You can use the Software Update utility to maintain Mac OS X.


  3. If you have a network connection to the Internet, click the "Automatically" radio button and choose the frequency with which you want to check for updates using the pop-up menu.


    If you use the "Automatically" option, I recommend a frequency of weekly. Checking more often than that adds a lot of network activity that isn't really necessary. If you hear about a software update, you can always open the Software Update pane of the System Preferences utility and do a manual update.

  4. If you don't have a network connection (you use a dial-up modem) or if you want to perform a manual update, you can click the Check Now button to check for updates manually.

    When the utility finds updates to the software installed on your Mac, including Mac OS X, you will be able to download and install them.

  5. Click the Installed Updates tab to view a log of Software Update's activity.

  6. Quit the System Preferences utility.

    Part I: Mac OS X: Exploring the Core
    Part III: Mac OS X: Living the Digital Lifestyle