I know the whole point of a silent update is that it doesn't require user interaction, but it seems like there should be some way to make sure my computer actually received and applied the update. Is there an update log somewhere that would list the full update history: which version and when it was applied on my specific install of macOS?

2 Answers 2


Your question did not specify a macOS version, but in macOS Mojave, background updates such as Gatekeeper or MRT (the Apple malware removal tool) will typically show in System Information.app -> Software -> Installations.

installations list

Source: About background updates in macOS Mojave

  • Note that you can click in the "Install Date" column header to sort by date, and easily find the most recent updates. Also, the question may be prompted by the update that disables Zoom's hidden web server -- that's MRTConfigData v1.45, dated 7/10/2019, so the screenshot may be from a Mac that doesn't have it yet (or it might be somewhere else in the list -- it'll list old versions as well as the latest). Jul 11, 2019 at 17:50
  • 1
    Eclectic Light also has an article about forcing security updates to run. Summary: softwareupdate -l --include-config-data will list available updates, sudo softwareupdate -ia --include-config-data (maybe followed by a restart) will apply them. Jul 13, 2019 at 1:04

Do this in a Terminal window:

softwareupdate --history

If that does not work, do this:

grep Installed /var/log/install.log
  • Both commands work in High Sierra and most probably in Mojave and Catalina. Only the second one works in El Capitan. I don't know about Sierra.
    – lhf
    Jul 25, 2020 at 19:24

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