How do I update my apps?

Asya Karapetyan
Content marketer, who specializes in Mac how-to guides
June 21, 2024
7 minutes to read

Keeping your Mac applications up-to-date is crucial for ensuring that you have the latest features and security updates. This article explains how to update apps on Mac downloaded whether from the App Store or directly from the developer’s website.

Update apps


  1. How to update an app in the App Store
  2. How to refresh an app downloaded from the developer`s website
  3. How to update an app on Mac using Terminal
  4. How can I update my apps easily?

Before we start

For an easy and efficient way to check if your apps need updates, consider using App Cleaner & Uninstaller. This tool simplifies the update process with its one-click update feature, helping you keep your apps current effortlessly. Additionally, it assists in uninstalling apps and removing remnants of previously uninstalled software, thus freeing up valuable disk space and maintaining your Mac’s performance.

App Cleaner & Uninstaller

Free Download

How to update an app in the App Store

Updating an app on a Mac downloaded from the App Store is a straightforward process. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the App Store application on your Mac.
  2. Click on the Updates tab located in the sidebar to view any available updates for your apps.
  3. If an update is available for an app, you will see an Update button next to the app’s name.
  4. Click this button to initiate the update process for that particular app.
  5. Alternatively, if you wish to update all your apps at once, you can click the ‘Update All’ button located at the top of the updates list. App Store window showing how to update apps

If you prefer your apps to update automatically, you can enable this feature in the App Store settings:

  1. Go to the App Store Settings.
  2. Check the Automatic Updates box. App Store settings window

This will allow your Mac to automatically download and install updates for your apps as they become available.

For those who like to keep track of the updates without opening the App Store, you can click on these notifications to directly start the update process.

How to refresh an app downloaded directly from the developer`s website

Refreshing an application that has been downloaded directly from a developer’s website involves different steps. Some applications have a built-in update feature, which can be accessed from within the app’s settings menu. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the application that you want to check for updates.
  2. Click the app’s name in the menu bar and select Check for updates.
  3. This feature will check for updates and prompt you to install them if they are available. App menu showing the updates option

Additionally, some applications may have an auto-update feature that can be enabled in the settings or preferences menu, allowing the app to automatically check for and install updates as they become available. This feature can be particularly useful for keeping your software up-to-date without having to manually check for updates.

Application built-in option to update it

If the application does not have an in-built update feature, you may need to visit the developer’s website to download the latest version of the app. Before installing the new version, it’s advisable to close the current version of the app and, if necessary, uninstall it to prevent any conflicts. After downloading the new version, proceed with the installation process as you would with any new software. Always make sure to download updates from the official developer’s website or trusted sources to avoid the risk of installing malicious software.

How to update an app on Mac using Terminal

For those who prefer a command-line interface, there’s an option to update apps on a Mac using Terminal. However note, that this method allows you to update only non-App Store applications. Also, it’s important to note that using Terminal requires precision and attention to detail to avoid potential system issues. Always double-check commands and their flags to ensure they perform the desired action:

  1. Open the Terminal application, which is located in the Utilities folder within Applications.
  2. Once Terminal is open, type the command below and press Enter:

    sudo softwareupdate -i [app name]

  3. You will be prompted to enter your administrator password.
  4. The app you wrote in the command will be updated. Terminal window showing the command to update apps

How can I update my apps easily?

You can check any app for updates on a Mac using App Cleaner & Uninstaller. This tool provides and option to see the list of apps that need to be refreshed, no matter whether they were downloaded from the App Store or directly from the developer’s website.

  1. Download and open App Cleaner & Uninstaller.
  2. Switch to the Update section in the sidebar.
  3. If the application needs an update, it will be displayed in this section.
  4. Select the apps from this list and click the Update button.
App updater


Why should you update Mac software?
What should I do if an app won’t update?
Do I need to restart my Mac after updating an app?
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