How to install macOS updates without installing Big Sur

A few weeks ago macOS Big Sur was released. It’s an exciting new update and I’ve heard of many fewer issues than in years past, but I do urge people to wait for a few months before they jump in. As with any upgrade, make sure your computer is backed up and your apps are all compatible before you upgrade.

But until you are ready to make the jump, Apple has not stopped releasing security and bug fix updates for some older software. Though if you are running macOS Catalina or macOS Mojave you might only notice the offer to upgrade to macOS Big Sur.

To get updates for Mojave or Catalina without upgrading to Big Sur, go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Software Update. Ignore the offer to upgrade to macOS Big Sur and look a little lower to the section that says “Another update is available” and click “More info” below that. These updates are only bug and security fixes, and I recommend everyone install any updates available here.

This is the current status for recent versions of macOS:

  • macOS 11 Big Sur – will get new minor features, refinements, and bug fixes until fall 2021, security patches until the end of 2023
  • macOS 10.15 Catalina – will get security patches until the end of 2022
  • macOS 10.14 Mojave – will get security patches until the end of 2021
  • macOS 10.13 High Sierra – just got its last security patch

Further help

If you are an existing customer who needs help with this or if you have other questions, or if you are in San Francisco and interested in becoming a client I invite you to book an appointment with me. Otherwise, you may wish to contact Apple Support or to find a local Apple consultant.

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