I have software updates set to check weekly, but it seems to happen at random times during the day. I'd really like to have it run at a specific day and time - say 4:30 on Friday - so that I can just let it run on my way out the door, rather than having to let the computer restart in the middle of a workday. Is it possible to schedule the software update that granularly? Obviously it can't be done via system prefs, but maybe there's a hidden setting somewhere (or a utility I can download) that I'm not aware of as a Mac newb.

3 Answers 3


If you goto the Software Update preferences, you can set it to daily, monthly or weekly. Obviously, this a very basic update scheduler. If you want to update weekly at this time just goto preferences and select weekly, now.

You can also do it using an Apple script + softwareupdater as described here.

  • As I said I already have it set to weekly. I'm looking for more specific control over the day and time. Thanks for the link; I'll look at the link when I have a few minutes to process it - I've never worked with AppleScript.
    – EmmyS
    May 19, 2011 at 14:41
  • I just read the article and set up an agent using Lingon as suggested. Simple and easy; just need to see if it actually runs tomorrow! Thanks.
    – EmmyS
    May 19, 2011 at 15:02

Emmy - if you want to automate this without a user approving the changes, see this thread. How to silently update OS X and reboot if necesary?

Otherwise just use iCal to schedule and set an alarm to open the file

/System/Library/Core Services/Software Update.app

as shown below: iCal alarms

There are tons of ways to script this, but iCal is really simple for this task.


You can automate this by date and time using 'launchd' here's an article about it. Note: This will download the updates in the background automatically, you won't see the apple software update window. So you won't have to push any confirm to install buttons.

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