macOS Mojave moves Software Update from Mac App Store back into System Preferences

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

macOS Mojave 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.

Your highlights:

  • The Software Update mechanism is now its own preference pane
  • Mac App Store’s Updates tab now lists only app updates
  • The Software Update shortcut has not returned to the Apple menu
  • The new pane also combines settings for app updates, Quarantine updates and more

Reintroducing a Software Update pane was the smart thing to do.

A change for the better

Apple’s has consolidated your system update toggles into a newly-created Software Update pane. This is where Software Update actually used to live for years before 2011’s OS X Lion introduced Mac App Store with a built-in software update mechanism.

The software update preference pane in macOS Mojave

Does the cog wheel rotate like on iOS?

Even though the method of delivery has changed, Mojave’s redesigned Mac App Store still lets you download the full macOS installer if you’d like to put it on external storage or create a bootable macOS installer on a USB thumb drive.

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 click the toggles to have your Mac check for updates automatically, download them without asking you and install automatically your app updates, macOS updates and system data file and security updates. App updates continue to be delivered through the Updates section of Mac App Store.

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

Summing up

This 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.

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!