How to Use Downloaded Mac Updates on Multiple Computers

If you are using Macs, then you probably know how hard it is to download updates for your Macs. Now, if you are using multiple Macs, then it surely is a headache. Mac updates and installers are generally huge in size. Let alone Mac OS, even Mac Application update files are big too.

If you have multiple Mac machines and you want to update it all. You have to download 4-5gb of data for each of your Macs and get it installed. There’s an easy way to download the update on a single Mac machine and get it install on multiple Macs.

You will surely like to use this method as downloading this huge data and getting it installed is time consuming and it also consumes your monthly bandwidth.

When you download any updates from Mac’s App Store, your machine restarts and the updates are installed. Now, to save disk space, Mac actually delete these update files from your machine automatically. These updates cannot be re-used.

As per the Apple’s Website, Apps (downloaded) from the Mac App Store may be used on any Macs that you own or control for your personal use. But still, once updated, these update files are no longer kept. So, the simple and obvious workaround for this scenario will be to copy these update files to another location before it is applied. To get this done, obviously, we will need the downloaded file location, right?

So, what are these files and where are these files?

Minor update releases that can be downloaded from Apple Support Website are standalone files with the .dmg file extension. These files can be found in the Applications [or /Users/username/Applications] folder on your Mac. You just have to copy these files from there to any other location of your choice.

Updates downloaded from the Apple Mac Store have the file extension .app. These files are also found in your Applications Folder only.

Now what about updates which are automatic? These update files are not downloaded in you Applications Folder. These files have file extension .pkg. These files can be found in a separate hidden folder. To find this folder follow the steps mentioned below –

  • Open Terminal on your Mac.
  • Run the command – defaults write ShowDebugMenu -bool true
  • Open the Mac App Store.
  • There you will find a new Debug Menu.
  • Click the Show Download Folder menu.

This will open the downloaded location of the update files with the .pkg file extension. These files are temporarily downloaded here and are deleted once the updates are applied. You can easily copy these .pkg or package files to another mac system and get it updated. You can use Airdrop or your Wi-Fi or any other mean that’s available to you to copy these files.

We learned today how to download updates for Macintosh OS and Applications on a single Mac and get it installed on multiple machines. Just remember, copy the update files or installer packages to another location [maybe to your download folder or wherever you may find suitable] before re-starting your mac.


I tried to be as elaborate as possible but if I, however skipped anything, you people are most welcome to comment below.

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