The other day my Finder crashed for some crazy reason. I’m using BigSur and wanted to update macOS using the Terminal since Finder was not responding. I decided to brew one of my favorite medium roast Caturra varietal coffee and put this little tutorial together.

Listing Available Updates On The Terminal

This is quite simple all you need to run is this command once you open your Terminal:

softwareupdate -l

This Terminal command will list available updates to install

softwareupdate command in Terminal

If you like to install all listed available updates just add -i -a to the softwareupdate Terminal command:

softwareupdate -i -a

Great thing about using the Terminal to download macOS updates is that you can keep using your computer while the download is happening in the background. Depending on the update type you might need to reboot at some point.

Now, if you want to specifically install a particular update then its a bit tricky. You will need to use -i and specify the update you want using single quotes ‘ ‘. For example this softwareupdate Terminal command will only install this Safari update:

softwareupdate -i 'Safari15.3BigSurAuto-15.3'
Updating Safari in macOS Terminal

You can also download the updates without installing them. Just add -d option to the softwareupdate tool in your Terminal.

softwareupdate -d 'Safari15.3BigSurAuto-15.3'

Hope you like this brief tutorial. Contact me if you have any questions or just want to say hello. You can also see my coffee mugs and T-Shirt shop. I created these designs for IT lovers. Thanks!

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