Mac: When it comes to updating your Mac, there's never a good time. Besides the intrusive and constant annoyance that is the update reminder (which, thankfully, you can deactivate), it often feels like a slog instead of what should be a few minutes of processing and a restart. If you're sick of waiting for the App Store and its sluggish interface, here's how you can speed up the process.
Photo: Tyler (Flickr)
Use the Terminal to Update
This update procedure, outlined by MacRumors, involves using the Terminal app to modify how your Mac actually downloads the updates. This trick won't update third-party apps from the App Store, nor will it take care of apps from Apple you've downloaded to your Mac, such as Xcode. It will update your operating system to the latest supported version of macOS, along with apps included in macOS from the get-go.
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In the Terminal, enter the command "softwareupdate -l" to tell your Mac to look for any available updates to macOS. If one is available, you'll see the update displayed in the command line, with the option to install it.
You can install every update at once by typing "softwareupdate -i -a" and letting the Terminal do its work in the background while you browse the web or take care of some editing. You'll need to restart your computer manually when the Terminal finishes downloading and installing the downloaded updates.
While the amount of time saved may vary depending on factors like your Mac's age or the software update size, skipping the App Store not only accelerates the update speed but also gets rid of the pain that is staring longingly at an unmoving progress bar.
You're not alone in wondering why the glowing bar has said there was two minutes remaining in that software update for the last 15 minutes, and this Techquickie video identifies the culprit: The progress bar can only estimate so far ahead, and isn't able to predict when other processes like updates or apps will demand more power. File size also plays a part, especially when using hard disks with fragmented files, or when dealing with multiple small files.