How do I know if an update requires restart in macOS Sierra? I just updated iTunes and read the description of the update, but couldn't find any mention of a restart required. After a moment the computer restarted without a warning. Luckily, I wasn't in the middle of anything important, but I'd like to avoid such forced restarts in the future.

Edit: There was also a macOS Sierra update today. In the figure below, there's no mention of a restart required. I also followed the two links, but found no mention there either. I'm pretty sure that the info shown here was the same prior to the update. Screenshot of one of the updates installed recently in App Store

1 Answer 1


When you look at the Updates list in the Mac App Store, it will indicate in the info if a restart is required. Below is an example of this:

Restart Required

You will see the words Restart Required followed by an icon of a white triangle within a grey circle (looks like a reverse play button).

Prior to installing the update, just check the info against each update to see whether any of them require a restart.

Security updates and OS updates usually require a restart. Most other apps don't.

  • Thanks for your answer, but I've edited my question and provided a counterexample. I was expecting a restart, of course, ensuing a system update. Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 6:36
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    Yes, but the screenshot you've added to your question was taken of the update after it was installed. This will no longer indicate that a restart was required. The indication of a restart being required is only present before you install it. In addition, I also know that sometimes people click on Update All (in the case of multiple updates) and get caught out because one of them required a restart. So you really do need to check all of them if choosing to install multiple updates simultaneously. I've updated my answer to show you an example.
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 7:09
  • Prior to the update I really tried to find a notification of a restart, but I guess I somehow managed to miss that. Well, thank you anyway! Now I know where to look in the future. Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 8:33
  • The UI has changed somewhat since this screenshot was taken. Would be helpful to have an updated answer.
    – a06e
    Commented May 19, 2023 at 9:46
  • @a06e Hmm, that's a valid point, although this question was specific to macOS Sierra, and it's interface hasn't changed.
    – Monomeeth
    Commented May 20, 2023 at 0:28

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