How to Change the Software Update Frequency in OS X
OS X now automatically checks for software updates once a week, and a notification pops up if you have updates available. But unlike older versions of Mac OS X, there is no pulldown menu in System Preferences to change how often system updates are checked for, so if you want to adjust the update checking behavior from once a week you’ll need to turn to the command line.
- Launch Terminal, found in /Applications/Utilities/ and enter the following command:
- Set the number at the end to the number in days between checking for available software updates, the example uses 3 days
sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate ScheduleFrequency 3
If you want to revert back to default behavior of checking once a week, you can use defaults delete or change the setting to 7, because there are 7 days in a week.
Checking for updates more often than once a week is probably a good idea when there are live vulnerabilities going around, like the current Java 7 issue that will impact some Mountain Lion users who manually installed the update.
The setting can also be changed per-user by pointing at the user library directory ~/Library/ rather than system library /Library/, but for software updates there isn’t much of a reason to do so other than avoiding the sudo command.
Thanks for the tip Tom