Mac Performance

How to Uninstall Update on Mac

The popular saying “Out with the old, in with the new” rings true in many ways, especially concerning important software updates. These files serve their purpose but become redundant once the latest updates are complete. That’s why we advise you to uninstall the update on Mac to free up space and enhance performance.


While manual deletion is an option, there’s dedicated software that can provide a more comprehensive solution. By automatically removing unnecessary files, your Mac can gain vital space, ensuring a smoother user experience.


Before we start  


Have you considered the simplicity of automated software updates? Do you want your Mac's updates to take care of themselves? In that case, let’s introduce you to the MacKeeper app. Our built-in Update Tracker feature is a hassle-free tool aimed to help you manage all of your Mac’s latest updates.


Here's how to leverage MacKeeper’s Update Tracker effectively:

  1. Download MacKeeper and launch the app on your Mac.
  2. Navigate the side menu to the Update Tracker feature.
  3. Click Scan for Updates to allow MacKeeper to check your software is up-to-date.
  4. On the left, choose the apps found by ticking the boxes and confirm to Update.

Where are macOS updates stored

macOS updates reside within the Library folder on your Mac. Specifically, they’re stored in the Updates subfolder. This designated location houses the downloaded macOS update files, ensuring they're readily available for installation when required.

In your Mac's system Library, you'll be able to see a folder called Updates. This is where macOS update files are stored.

Can you delete old Mac updates

Yes, you can. If you want to delete old Mac updates to help reclaim essential disk space on your Mac’s hard drive, then it’s a good idea. However, do exercise caution when handling system storage folders to prevent the unintended consequences of deleting important folders or data.


Continue reading this article, as we’ll be exploring several methods to guide you through the safe removal of old update files from your Mac.

Why should you remove old Mac update files

Removing outdated Mac update files is integral for maintaining your Mac's health. An accumulation of unnecessary files can clog up your system and, therefore, affect your overall experience.


Here's why you should remove old Mac update files:

  • Eliminating obsolete update files helps you reclaim storage space, giving you more room for new apps and data.
  • Clearing out old updates contributes to a more efficient transition between applications and tasks, ultimately improving your Mac's performance.
  • Deleting old Mac updates can also ensure a more stable environment, reducing the risk of potential glitches or issues.

To go a step further, you can also learn how to remove default apps to gain further control over what’s installed on your device.

Is it safe to delete update files on Mac

Yes, it's safe to delete old update files, as long as you're only removing the ones you no longer need. You may also want to consider deleting unsupported files frequently to maintain optimal performance.


Should you decide to delete macOS update files, it can help to significantly boost your Mac’s overall performance. It frees up space for new updates without risking any essential system components that work in the background.

How to prepare your Mac before removing old Mac software updates

Before you get rid of old versions of macOS or outdated update files, it's crucial to prepare your Mac first to ensure a smooth and secure process. This preparation safeguards your important data as well as the system’s integrity, preventing you from experiencing any unforeseen issues during removal.


Here’s how you can begin to prepare your Mac before removing old software update files:

  • Create a backup of your essential files and data using Time Machine or another reliable backup method.
  • Check your Mac's system requirements to confirm compatibility with the current updates and ensure a seamless transition.
  • Before proceeding, gather information about the specific updates you plan to remove, ensuring you don't eliminate essential components.
  • Consider creating restore points within macOS to revert to a stable state if needed after the update removal.
  • Clear unnecessary clutter and temporary files to free up disk space, facilitating the update removal process and maintaining system efficiency.

How to delete old software updates on Mac

Updating your Mac's software automatically removes outdated software update files that are no longer supported. This process is the simplest way to delete old Mac updates and clear unnecessary files from your device. For Apple users who don't like updating their Mac's software, there are alternative methods to remove accumulated cache and data that are stealing all of your MacBook’s storage.


Below are several methods to delete old software update files on your Mac:

1. Uninstalling software updates using the Terminal

If your Mac fails to automatically remove old software update files, an alternative method could be eliminating outdated files using Terminal. Before proceeding, consider reading our helpful Mac Terminal guide first to familiarize yourself and prevent any potential damage to your device.


Once you’ve done that, you can follow the steps below to get started:

  1. Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
  2. Depending on the macOS version, indicate the downloaded update file that should be deleted. In our case, it’s Monterey Update File, and the command to be typed will look the following: sudo rm -rf Install\ macOS\
  3. Enter the password if necessary and press Enter to finalize.

Your macOS version may be different to Monterey, maybe Ventura or Catalina. If that’s the case, the terminal command will need to be altered to or to match your macOS version.

2. Removing a software update from the Library

If you’re looking to delete macOS update files or remove a specific software update, then manually removing them from your Library is another option. This method allows you to handle all your Mac’s system folders, ensuring the removal of unwanted data, to help enhance your Mac's performance.


Here’s how you can safely remove a software update from Mac’s library:

  1. Launch Finder and click on Go in the top menu.
  2. Select Go to Folder and type in: ~/Library/.
  3. Within the Library Folder, locate and open the Updates Folder.
  4. Search for the specific update file you intend to delete.
  5. Right-click on the update file and select Move to Bin to delete it permanently.
  6. Lastly, right-click on the Bin icon to Empty Bin to permanently remove the update file from your Mac.
To remove software updates from your Mac's Library, you'll first need to open a Finder window. Then you can click on Go and select Go to Folder.
Step 1. Launch Finder, click Go and select Go to Folder
Once you have selected Go to Folder, you'll then be able to copy in the path ~/Library/ to take you to all your Library folders. Then you'll be able to find the updates folder.
Step 2. Type in ~/Library/
Once you have found the updates folder, you can open the folder and select the individual files you want to remove.
Step 3. Locate and open the Updates Folder
Then right-click on the files or entire updates folder and select Move to Bin to remove all unnecessary update files from your Mac.
Step 4. Right-click on the update files and select Move to Bin
To finalise this removal, you'll need to go into your Bin where you'll find the Empty BIin button. You'll need to confirm this action before you completely remove the software update files from our device.
Step 5. Go to Bin and click Empty Bin

It’s important to make sure you thoroughly delete leftover files from uninstalled programs. Otherwise, residue files and cache can eat away at your hard drive storage.

3. Delete software updates from the App Store

Removing outdated software updates directly from the App Store involves strategically managing folder structures within your Mac's Library. This can allow you to streamline processes to get rid of old versions of macOS and maintain your Mac's hard drive space without decluttering essential data or important personal files.


To delete software updates from the App Store, follow these steps:

  1. Open the App Store on your Mac.
  2. Click on Updates from the sidebar to view available updates.
  3. Locate the specific update you want to remove from the list.
  4. Right-click on the update and choose Hide Update.
  5. Confirm the action by clicking Hide in the pop-up window to remove the update from the list.
To delete software updates from the App Store, you'll first need to find and open the App Store.
Step 1. Open the App Store
Next, selected Updates from the left-hand sidebar to be able to view any available updates.
Step 2. Click on Updates from the sidebar to view available updates.
Once you have found the Update you wish to hide, click on the Hide Update button. You'll be asked to confirm this action by clicking Hide in the pop-up window.
Step 3. Right-click on the update and choose Hide Update.

4. Deleting the software update installation file

Removing outdated installation files may also help to improve your Mac’s efficiency. This method involves locating specific folders within your device’s system that can be deleted to help streamline your Mac’s storage. There are two ways to delete unwanted installation files from your Mac.

Get rid of unwanted updates on Mac via Finder

Here’s how to get rid of unwanted updates on Mac via Finder:

  1. In Finder, go to Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Type or paste /Library/Updates/ and press Enter.
  3. Use the keyboard shortcut Command-Shift-. to show any hidden files. If there are any update files shown, select the ones you want to delete. Drag the selected updates to the Bin.
  4. Right click the Bin and select Empty Bin to permanently remove the unwanted updates.
Part of a Finder window on Mac, with the Go menu open. Go to Folder is highlighted. How to delete old software updates on Mac.
Step 1. Go to Go > Go to Folder
The Go to Folder dialog box from Finder on a Mac. The file path /Library/Updates is shown. How to delete old software updates on Mac.
Step 2. Type or paste /Library/Updates/ and press Enter
Finder on Mac, with the Dock visible. The Bin is highlighted in the Dock. How to delete old software updates on Mac.
Step 3. Drag any unwanted updates to the Bin
The Dock on a Mac, with the Bin shown. The right click menu is open, and Empty Bin is highlighted. How to delete old software updates on Mac.
Step 4. Right click the Bin and choose Empty Bin

Alternatively, you can navigate to your Applications folder in Finder and delete them from there.

Delete old updates on Mac via Launchpad

Here's a step-by-step guide to deleting old updates via Launchpad:

  1. Open Launchpad on your Mac.
  2. Look for the installed updates within Launchpad.
  3. Click and hold on to the update until it starts jiggling.
  4. Click the delete (X) button on the update icon to remove it from Launchpad.
  5. Confirm the deletion by selecting Delete in the prompt that appears.

5. Remove software updates with MacKeeper

When faced with the task to delete old operating system on Mac, it’s best to let a trusted program remove the redundant files for you. If you choose the right program, it’ll do a thorough job of deleting files and do it in a fraction of the time it would take you.


If you wish to delete leftover redundant files stored deep within your system, MacKeeper's Safe Cleanup is a viable solution. This professional tool can efficiently detect and delete these hidden folders, streamlining your Mac's storage.


Follow these steps to get started with MacKeeper's Safe Cleanup:

  1. Download and open the MacKeeper app on your Mac.
  2. Click on the Safe Cleanup tab on the left.
  3. Now click Clean Junk Files to start cleaning your Mac or unnecessary junk and cache.
The Safe Cleanup tool in the MacKeeper’s app will allow you to see the volume of junk files accumulated on your Apple device and give you the option to safely remove them.

Our experts highly recommend you repeat this process every time you need to clean your Mac or to completely uninstall an application you no longer need. Rest assured, your important files and personal information will remain untouched.

How to delete old iOS updates on Mac

A software update often resolves various issues on a Mac, including the deletion of outdated software files. This approach typically serves as the initial step to delete macOS update files that are old.


You can follow these steps to delete old iOS updates on Mac:

  1. Click on the Apple icon > About this Mac > scroll down > Storage Settings.
  2. Wait for iOS files to be located, then click the Delete button.
To delete old iOS updates on Mac, first you'll need to click on the Apple icon > About this Mac > scroll down > Storage Settings.
Step 1. About this Mac > scroll down > Storage Settings
To action this, wait for the iOS to be found and then click the Delete button, this will remove unwanted iOS field from your Apple Mac.
Step 2. Wait for iOS Files to be found > then click the Delete button

Updating your Mac’s operating system regularly can significantly enhance its performance. It can also ensure automatic updates are enabled for seamless maintenance.


How to make sure you've deleted all the update files?

Making sure you’ve deleted all the update files is crucial for maintaining a clutter-free system. To ensure thorough removal, you can refer to the steps below to check:

  1. Go to System Settings> General > Software Update.
  2. Review the update history to confirm the absence of previously installed updates.
  3. Go to Apple menu > About This Mac > Storage to check if the system storage reflects the removal of updated files.
  4. Explore Library folders for residual update files by accessing ~/Library/Updates/.
You can check to see if you have deleted all update files by accessing software updates via your Mac's system settings.
Step 1. Go to System Settings> General > Software Update.
Another option to check you have deleted all outdated or unneeded update files from your Mac, you go to Apple menu > About This Mac > Storage to check if the system storage reflects the removal of updated files.
Step 2. You can check your system Storage to confirm the removal of updated files.
You can also check to ensure you have completely deleted all your old update files by searching your Mac's Library folders for update files. If no folders or files are found then they have been deleted.
Step 3. Check via Library folders for residual update files

How to downgrade to a previous generation of macOS?

It is possible to downgrade to a previous macOS, whether you need to do so because crucial software isn’t compatible with your current OS or you noticed performance issues after the update due to old hardware.


Even though it is possible, it isn’t straightforward, and there are a few steps involved. If you don’t have a Time Machine backup, you may have to erase your entire disk before reinstalling.


There are a few ways to restore a previous macOS. The first (and easiest) method is only possible if you have a Time Machine backup from your previous macOS. If you do, follow these instructions:

Tip: Before you begin, back up any files you’ve modified since creating your Time Machine backup.

  1. Shut down your Mac and insert your Time Machine disk.
  2. If you have an Intel-based Mac, turn it on and immediately hold down Command-R. If your Mac has an Apple Silicon chip, turn it on and continue to hold down the Power button until you see startup options, then click Options and Continue.
  3. You may be asked for the administrator or user password.
  4. Choose the option Restore from Time Machine.
  5. Choose a backup file from before you upgraded your macOS, and follow the on-screen instructions.

The second method requires a bootable installer and an internet connection. These instructions will erase your hard disk, so make sure you’ve backed up your data:

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Boot up in Recovery Mode: If your Mac is Intel-based, turn it on and hold down Command-R, then select your hard disk. If it runs Apple Silicon, hold down the power button until you see Options, then choose Options.
  3. Select Disk Utility.
  4. Choose your hard disk, and click Erase. Follow any on-screen instructions, and then close Disk Utility by using the keyboard shortcut Command-Q.
  5. Turn off your Mac and attach your bootable installer.
  6. If you have an Intel-based Mac, turn it on and hold down the Option key. If you have a Mac with Apple silicon, hold down the Power button until you see the options screen.
  7. Select the bootable installer and follow the on-screen instructions.

Finally, if you have an Intel-powered Mac, you can use macOS Recovery over the internet to restore your original macOS—or the closest version still available.

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Turn your Mac on, and hold down Option-Shift-Command-R.
  3. Enter your password when requested, and follow the on-screen instructions to reinstall macOS.

Should you set your Mac to update automatically?

Enabling automatic updates on your Mac allows for the timely installation of important system improvements and security patches without any manual intervention needed. Some Mac users prefer manual updates as this gives them more control and avoids interruptions from automatic updates, but it falls to personal preference.

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