The Mac Software Update mechanism has its own preference pane on macOS Mojave

With macOS Mojave, Apple has removed the Software Update feature from Mac App Store and brought it back into System Preferences, where it originally used to be up until OS X Lion.

A change for the better

Apple has actually duplicated all of the system update toggles from the Mac App Store preference pane in a newly-created pane, Software Update. Both panes include all of the software update features in one central place (the Mac App Store pane has the additional password settings).

The software update preference pane in macOS Mojave

Does the cog wheel rotate like on iOS?

Even though the method of delivery has changed, the redesigned Mac App Store in Mojave still lets you download and save an entire macOS installer so that you can put it on external storage or create a bootable macOS installer on a USB thumb drive.

Your highlights:

  • The Updates section in the side bar of the new Mac App Store shows app updates only
  • The Software Update mechanism is now its own preference pane
  • It duplicates the advanced options found in the App Store preference pane, including a toggle for app and Quarantine updates
  • Clicking the Check Now button in the App Store preference pane now launches the Software Update pane
  • The Software Update option has not returned to the Apple menu

“Use the Software Update preferences to update your macOS version and install recent updates,” reads Apple’s description of the feature.

A closer look at Software Update in Mojave

The main Software Update preference pane looks familiar. To access it, choose System Preferences from the Apple menu or the Dock, then click the icon labeled Software Update.

The Software Update icon in System Preferences on macOS Mojave

The Update Now button lets you install all of the system software and updates that appear in the Software Update pane. Ticking the box next to “Automatically keep my Mac up to date” instructs the system to have your computer check for and install updates automatically.

To see additional options for installing system updates, click the Advanced button.

The Software Update option in the Apple menu

This is still missing from macOS Mojave, via Reddit user ChairmanLaParka

From there, you can adjust the following options:

  • Automatically check for updates—Have your Mac check for updates automatically.
  • Download newly available updates in the background—Have your Mac download updates without asking you.
  • Install app updates—Have your Mac install app updates automatically.
  • Install macOS updates—Have your Mac install macOS updates automatically.
  • Install system data files and security updates—Have your Mac install system files and security updates automatically.

App updates will continue to be delivered through the Updates section found in the side bar of the redesigned Mac App Store, as they should.

The Advanced screen of the Software Update preference pane in macOS Mojave

Summing it all up

The change is integral to Apple’s drastically redesigned Mac App Store in Mojave which has gained an iPhone-like Mac App Store overhaul with editorial content, a side bar, promotional videos, bold headings and more.

OVERVIEW: The redesigned Mac App Store in macOS Mojave

I cannot fathom why Apple had to relocate the software update services from System Preferences to Mac App Store in OS X Lion only to bring back the software update preference pane of old with Mojave.

That said, it’s nice to see the feature going back to System Preferences where it belongs.

Your thoughts?

With this tweak in Mojave, system updates are no longer delivered through the Mac App Store’s Updates tab. In my personal opinion, that’s a change for the better considering many people disliked the old Mac App Store due to its clunkiness and just general slowness.

How do you like this new Mojave feature?

And speaking of which, should Apple rename System Preferences to Settings?

Let us know by sharing your thoughts in the comment section down below!