My problem is that my internet speed to Apple's server is very slow, and I have 6 devices running macOS so I like to download security updates or system updates only once for all 6 of my devices.

I checked these folders:



The package is not in either of these folders...

Also, once the file is downloaded and installed, App Store removes the package immediately it seems. Is there a way to prevent App Store from removing updates?

2 Answers 2


First off: did you consider "Content Caching" in High Sierra's System Preferences > Sharing?

But to answer your question: while downloading you'll usually find the files in the system caches in the...


...folders (owned by _softwareupdate or/and _nsurlsession, with no access to the user). But that's just a temporary state and they usually get assembled in numbered directories into...


Since updates consist of more packages these days, they refuse to run individually and the .dist file will have to be opened with the Installer.app to install them in order.

The packages will wait for installation, before being removed, so making sure System Preferences > App Store is set to not automatically update and clicking "Not Now" before the download, or "Later" in the installation window will postpone installation and therefore removal.

  • Nice! Didn't know about this function!
    – IconDaemon
    May 2, 2018 at 16:15
  • Content caching is the answer here. Set up multiple content caches on three devices and you’ll likely never need to download any update or Mac App Store app more than once. One cache is enough to get started for most people.
    – bmike
    May 5, 2018 at 13:29

If you need to update multiple Macs then you may be better off to bypass the Mac App Store app and download updates manually. The safest way to do that is directly from Apple.

To do this, use your browser to go to: https://support.apple.com/downloads

Once there you'll see the most recent software updates available for download. However, you can also use the icons at top of the page to browse downloads by product.

Using the example in your question, you can click on the macOS icon to filter the list by macOS downloads. Doing this will provide you with access to Security updates, combo updates, etc relating to macOS.

You also have the option of using the Search field to search for a specific download. For example, entering Security update as a search term will present you with Security Updates going back to 2003. You can also search for specific updates relating to OS versions or Apple hardware.

Typically downloads will be in the .dmg disk image format and you can then keep and use these as required.

Finally, if you're going to manually download updates, you may want to consider reviewing you settings in Apple > System Preferences > App Store.

  • I disagree with this answer but won’t down vote since it’s a clear option for manually managing downloads and taking on the extra work to install them repeatedly. The solution I would urge is Apple content caching as the perfect solution here. You can add peer caches if you want to spend more disk space and cache all iCloud / App Store / updates in multiple local Mac on the same subnet. It works amazingly well and is free on High Sierra.
    – bmike
    May 5, 2018 at 13:28
  • @bmike That's fair feedback! :) Plus I didn't actually answer the question in the title itself. :( I didn't even think of content caching until I saw Redarm's answer, but then left mine here as there's no mention of macOS High Sierra in the question and figured it was still useful. But yes, I agree that content caching would be the preferred option, especially if you have a macOS High Sierra installation. High Sierra just makes it so much easier to set up than it is if you're trying to configure the Server.app to provide the same service.
    – Monomeeth
    May 5, 2018 at 23:34
  • There’s tons of great info here. I’m glad you answered despite there being another option. Older OS can use any cache available (High Sierra and older os with older server.app) and your answer will work for people that don’t or can’t cache using Apple’s tools.
    – bmike
    May 6, 2018 at 2:12

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