In OS X 10.8, for system updates that were installed without being signed into an Apple ID, how can I view the update history?

I looked in Library/Logs for an update log, and also in the Software Update for an Installed Software pane, but I don't have either.

Where can I see the updates?


4 Answers 4


It can be found in an easy to read format using the system information app:

System Information.app > Software > Installations

System information can be found in /Applications/Utilities/System Information.app or via Spotlight.

  • /Library/Receipts/InstallHistory.plist is it, it is just an xml file which is very easy to read if you have vim or an xml editor installed.
    – Deesbek
    Oct 11, 2013 at 17:18
  • 1
    System Information.app > Software > Installations only shows downloaded apps that have been dragged into applications folder?
    – Pacerier
    Oct 27, 2017 at 9:56

It is not easy to read, but it appears to be up to date on my machine. You can find the Install history in: /Library/Receipts/InstallHistory.plist

Wouldn't it be nice it this were listed in the Update tab of the Mac App Store?

  • Well done - I've been looking for that file and you saved me from trolling spotlight to find it. Now I might need to write a little app to parse that XML file if someone hasn't done that already.
    – bmike
    Oct 11, 2013 at 18:23
  • @bmike, the answer that Deesbek gave looks like it is just reading that file, although the answer could be a bit clearer.
    – Ɱark Ƭ
    Oct 11, 2013 at 18:25
  • Yes - that appears to be a decent enough app to present the data. Wohoo!
    – bmike
    Oct 11, 2013 at 18:37
  • most decent text editors like vim will parse the xml for you @bmike, then it is just a matter of collapsing and expanding what you need.
    – Deesbek
    Oct 11, 2013 at 18:44
  • @Deesbek, AFAIK vim doesn't parse XML, it just displays it raw. I wouldn't be surprised it EMACS has a mode to parse the XML.
    – Ɱark Ƭ
    Oct 11, 2013 at 18:52
  • Why does some of the logs in /private not appear in /Library
    – Pacerier
    Oct 27, 2017 at 10:05
  • The log rotates. Did you also check in install.log.0.bz2 and its successors install.log.1.bz2…?
    – 1.61803
    Oct 27, 2017 at 14:34

Try also

/usr/sbin/system_profiler SPInstallHistoryDataType

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