I've recently seen this app show up in the dock a couple of times. Any idea what it is? I'm slightly concerned as it doesn't look very official and I fear it could be malicious:



That icon is from http://sparkle-project.org, which is an open-source auto-updating framework. However, it could be embedded in almost any application, since Sparkle is one of the most popular auto-update frameworks in indie Mac software.

Did you recently install new software that has Automatically check for updates checked in the preferences?

Edit to include my comment.
If you're interested in locating which application it is from, you can hold ⌘ Command and click the icon in the dock (or right-click and select Options > Show In Finder), and it will open its location in the Finder. You can then right click on the top of the Finder window that appears (on the icon), to show the path to the containing application.


With this method, you can see that this Autoupdate.app is from within iTerm.

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  • Thanks, i probably did add some software that automatically checks for updates, do you know if there anyway to see which programme is triggering the autoupdate ? – sam May 19 '15 at 17:49
  • Yes, you can Command + Click the icon, and it will show its location in the Finder. Alternately, you can follow the instructions in the other answer, which does the same function. – ryebread May 19 '15 at 17:53

If you right click the Dock icon and select Options > Show in Finder, you should be able to see the path to the application it resides in. (If necessary enable the "path bar" in Finder's View menu [⌥⌘P])

You can also use the Activity Monitor app to find that app and in the details, it will show all the open files. With that information you should be able to suss out which program / package is updating and turn off the update check or just update it directly from the developer site.

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Autoupdate does not always show up in the Dock. I was able to find out what application was driving the update by: opening Activity Monitor, going to the CPU tab, entering autoupdate in the search bar, double-clicking on it to get the process information pane, and reading what it said under "Open Files and Ports".

(The open files go away if you enter your password and finish the update, so you have to examine it first.)

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