Bypass The Mac App Store To Update Mountain Lion Software

Bypass The Mac App Store To Update Mountain Lion Software

The Mac App store provides a nice, simple, graphical way to keep your Mac updated with the latest software, letting you know when system updates as well as Apple and third-party apps have a new update to be downloaded and installed.

If you don’t want to use the Mac App store, though, you can use the Terminal app along with some Terminal commands to do the same thing. When would you use this? Well, maybe when the Mac App store gets wonky, or if you’re not at the current Mac, and want to securely and remotely administer the Mac in question, that’s when.

It’s fairly simple. Here’s how.

Launch Terminal app from the Utilitles folder, found in the Applications folder. Once launched, type or paste the following:

sudo softwareupdate -l

You’ll need to enter the admin password here to let softwareupdate do its thing, which is essentially listing all available software updates for the Mac you’re working on, remotely or locally.

If you want to install everything on the list, equivalent to clicking the Update All button in the Mac App store, type or paste the command below:

sudo softwareupdate -i -a

If you’d rather install only one update at a time, type the following, but replace AppName with the name from the list you saw in step one, above.

sudo softwareupdate -i AppName

The caveat here is that the Terminal version of softwareupdate will only find and install system software updates, not third-party apps like the Mac App Store will. Of course, the Mac App Store can’t remotely update system software like this, either, so choose the tool best suited to your needs and specific tasks.


    Is there any way that you can install the updates from a flash drive with the .dmg update files.
    For example – when you have more than one machine needing the updates. Rather than downloading them each time as per the instructions above.

  • DrT

    Same issue as T-Billions. I’m stuck with a very slow internet connection (in Africa). Yesterday I burned a $40 data bundle trying to download software updates and when all the data bundle was used up, I had nothing to show for it. I would love a way to bypass the app store and get .dmg files of updates. Any possibility?

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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