Check What Software Updates Have Been Installed on Mac OS

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Have you forgotten what software updates you installed on a Mac? Maybe you should check if a particular Mac workstation has a particular software update installed? With a little work, you can easily check which specific software updates were previously installed in Mac OS X.

We will show you several ways to install a list of software updates on a Mac. How to get a list of installed software updates on a Mac depends in part on the version of the MacOS / Mac OS X system software installed on the Mac. There are a few different approaches, some work on all versions of Mac system software and others are version dependent, as you will see.

How to See what software updates are installed on Mac with system information

Perhaps the easiest way to see every single software update installed on a Mac is to use the System Information utility:

  1. Open the “System Information” app, located in / Applications / Utilities /
  2. Go to the “Software” section in the sidebar
  3. Choose “Installations” to see the full list of software updates ever installed on the Mac

A helpful tip is to sort the list of software updates by installation date, but you can also sort by name.

How to    view a complete list of software updates installed on a Mac

The advantage of this system information approach is that it works on any Mac with the “System Information” tool in Mac OS and Mac OS X, all of which should be standard.

How to Check what software updates are installed with System Preferences

If your Mac OS version supports getting software updates from the Software Update control panel in System Preferences, you can check which updates are installed as follows:

  • Open “System Preferences” from the  Apple menu
  • Click on the control panel “Software Update”
  • Select the “Installed software” tab to view the list of installed updates

Check installed software updates

From here you will see the exact installed date and time, the name of the software update package and the version of each update.

Many versions of Mac OS X get updates through the System Preferences pane, including Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Leopard, Tiger and earlier releases, as well as modern releases such as macOS Mojave and forward. The interim releases used the Mac App Store instead.

How to Check software updates from the command line

You can view the InstallHistory.plist file by dumping the content with cat, in the example here we are also forwarding the output to more for easier reading:

cat /Library/Receipts/InstallHistory.plist | Lake

In macOS Mojave and macOS High Sierra, you can also use the software update command line tool with a history flag to see all installed software updates:

software update – history

This only works in modern versions of macOS such as macOS Mojave and macOS High Sierra, and the -history flag is not available in previous releases.

However you access it, this list can be useful to look through for troubleshooting, or if you’ve ignored some updates and plan to install them manually from the command line or by downloading the packages from Apple.

If you know of any other useful methods to check for installed software updates on a Mac, share them in the comments below!

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The time to complete the Check What Software Updates Have Been Installed in Mac OS X tutorial is 10+ minutes.

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Apple

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mac OS



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