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Although you've just installed a fresh copy of Mountain Lion, there's a good chance that you don't have the latest and greatest Apple software running on your Mac. Apple routinely offers updates to not only its operating system, but other applications such as those in the iLife and iWorks suites. It also issues security updates that are important to help keep your Mac secure. For these reasons, you should run Software Update as soon as you install Mountain Lion, and here's how to go about it. In the old days, you'd go to System Preferences and then click on Software Update.
At this point, you'd click on Show Updates. I'm going to show you the other way to do it, which is more convenient, but before we leave this system update preference, I want to show you a couple of options. The first is that you can automatically check for updates. So turn that on and then you can choose to download newly available updates in the background or it will install just system data files and security updates. You can turn both those things off if you like, or again turn this off all together. You can also automatically download the apps that you've purchased on other Macs. So, for example, if I had this account on one of my other Macs, I purchase it on that Mac, those apps would automatically download to the Mac I'm using now.
At this point, I'll leave all that off and quit System Preferences. So the Mountain Lion way to do this is really to go to the Apple Menu and choose Software Update. This launches the Mac App Store and takes you to the updates area. In this case, you see that I have one update available. If I had more than one update available, there would also be a button that said Update All and that would download everything. When there's an update available, you'll often see a More link, click on that to see what else is available to you.
If I then wanted to install these updates, I simply click on Update, and at this point, I won't. While we're here in the Mac App Store, I want to show you one other thing, which is the Purchases tab. Within this tab, you'll see all the applications that you have purchased with this particular account. And you see I have a couple of options. For example on this Mac, I have the option to download another copy of Mountain Lion, and I do that just by clicking on Download. Or I have other applications that I purchased that aren't on this Mac, and to install them, I would just click on Install.
They download and then they would be installed to my Mac. But suppose you're looking for some older software that isn't in the Mac App Store, I'll quit the Mac App Store, we'll launch Safari. I'll go to support.apple.com/downloads and in this case, let's say Mac OS and Software. When I do this, you see that there are other updates available, some Supplemental updates, an Aperture update, QuickTime update, you can go back through time and find older updates from this website.
So if the Mac App Store doesn't have what you're looking for, check out this site. And with that, your Mac should now be completely up to date.
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