Apple Did Not Update Your Mac Without Your Permission

A number of articles have explained that Apple pushed an automated security update to Macs this week; but it’s wrong. Even John Gruber on Daring Fireball didn’t question this, but Gene Steinberg did, in an article on Tech Night Owl Live.

I didn’t get this update “pushed” to me; I saw it, as I see all updates, in the App Store app, where I was asked to update as soon as possible.

Screen Shot 2014 12 24 at 4 17 20 PM

The reason the update wasn’t installed automatically was because I had not set my Mac to do so. To have “system data files and security updates” installed automatically, a setting in the App Store pane of System Preferences needs to be checked:

Screen Shot 2014 12 24 at 4 19 29 PM

As Gene Steinberg points out, Apple already does this for its malware scanner: “…it’s not the first time. It happens any time […] malware detection strings are updated.” For some people, who had the automatic update option checked, this happened automatically, as it should. For others, who had this option turned off, the update was not applied until they manually chose to do so.

Is it a good thing to have this option turned on? It probably is; I’m just very hesitant about Apple auto-updating anything, given the quality of some of its updates in recent times. If you have a Mac that you don’t attend to – such as one running as a server – it’s best to turn the option on, but if you check your Mac regularly, I’d say it’s not essential. This was a very important security update, but if you check for updates from time to time, you’ll probably be safe.

16 thoughts on “Apple Did Not Update Your Mac Without Your Permission

  1. I believe those two active options — download in background and install security updates — are checked by default in Yosemite, and that you un-checked them.

  2. I believe those two active options — download in background and install security updates — are checked by default in Yosemite, and that you un-checked them.

  3. Is there a way to know when Apple updates the malware definitions and what is the current malware definitions?

  4. Is there a way to know when Apple updates the malware definitions and what is the current malware definitions?

  5. I was using an older Mac for legacy applications for legacy files. The older Mac was running on the same home network, (but with it’s own separate ISP) as the newer Mac, which was delivered running Lion. Apple installed Lion on the older Mac, which Apple itself claimed the older computer incapable of running.
    I had purposely deactivated all updates on the older Mac as I was using it solely for the legacy applications and files I needed to manually update, or keep archived in their native state.
    Please contribute, if you can, on how that could not have happened.

  6. I was using an older Mac for legacy applications for legacy files. The older Mac was running on the same home network, (but with it’s own separate ISP) as the newer Mac, which was delivered running Lion. Apple installed Lion on the older Mac, which Apple itself claimed the older computer incapable of running.
    I had purposely deactivated all updates on the older Mac as I was using it solely for the legacy applications and files I needed to manually update, or keep archived in their native state.
    Please contribute, if you can, on how that could not have happened.

  7. Apple updated my copy of iTunes TWICE this week, without my granting permission. After regressing back to 12.5.5, it DID IT AGAIN!! This is so wrong.

  8. Apple updated my copy of iTunes TWICE this week, without my granting permission. After regressing back to 12.5.5, it DID IT AGAIN!! This is so wrong.

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