OS X 10.9.3 Software Update for Mac Now Available

May 15, 2014 - 27 Comments

OS X 10.9.3

Apple has released OS X 10.9.3 for Mac users running Mavericks. The software update includes a variety of bug fixes, security enhancements, and feature improvements to OS X, making it recommended for all Mac users running OS X Mavericks. Additionally, iTunes 11.2.1 has been made available as a separate update.

Specifically, OS X 10.9.3 includes improved support for 4K displays attached to Mac Pro and MacBook Pro Retina Macs, improvements to the stability of VPN connections using IPSec, a Safari update, and the ability to locally sync some data with iOS devices via USB.

The latter feature addition is perhaps most notable for many Mac users, because it allows for the ability for contacts and calendars to sync directly from an iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to a Mac using a USB connection, something that was initially removed from OS X Mavericks in favor of iCloud only syncing. Now, Mac users have the choice to sync that data locally, or continue to sync it through iCloud, depending on their personal preferences.

Download & Install OS X 10.9.3 Update

Always back up your Mac before installing system updates. As usual, the easiest way to do that is with Time Machine, just start a backup and let it complete before proceeding with the update.

  1. Go to the  Apple menu and choose “Software Update” to launch the Mac App Store
  2. Wait for OS X 10.9.3 to appear in the Updates list (hit Command+R to refresh if it doesn’t appear) and choose ‘Update’

Installing 10.9.3 requires a download and reboot, the package size varies depending on the Mac being installed on, but should be roughly 400-500MB.

OS X 10.9.3 Update

For users who don’t want to update through the App Store, OS X 10.9.3 Combo Updaters will be made available shortly from Apple.

OS X 10.9.3 Release Notes

Complete release notes accompanying OS X 10.9.3 in the Mac App Store are as follows, full security releated release notes are further below:

The OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Update is recommended for all Mavericks users. It improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac.
This update:

  • Improves 4K display support on Mac Pro (Late 2013) and MacBook Pro with 15-inch Retina Display (Late 2013)
  • Adds the ability to sync contacts and calendars between a Mac and iOS device using a USB connection
  • Improves the reliability of VPN connections using IPsec
  • Resolves an issue that prevented Font Book from installing PostScript Type 1 fonts
  • Improves reliability of copying, editing and inspecting permissions of files on an SMB file server
  • Improves reliability of network home directories
  • Improves stability when installing configuration profiles
  • Improves login speed for users in Active Directory groups
  • Includes Safari 7.0.3

For detailed information about this update, please visit:http://support.apple.com/kb/HT6228
For detailed information about the security content of this update, please visit:http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

Separately, for users who are not running OS X Mavericks, Security Updates are available for OS X Lion and OS X Mountain Lion. This allows those users to install necessary security patches without having to upgrade their broader Mac OS. (Despite a contrary report, this may not be the case beyond iTunes 11.2. The latest version of Security Updates for older versions of OS X can be found here http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1222 – thanks to Beebs for pointing this out)

iTunes 11.2 Update Available Also

Mac users can also find iTunes 11.2 available via the Mac App Store software update mechanism. The iTunes 11.2 update includes bug fixes and performance updates, and also improvements podcast support and browsing.

Release Notes for iTunes 11.2 are as follows:

This update includes the following improvements:

Improved Podcast Browsing
• Quickly find episodes you haven’t listened to in the new Unplayed tab
• Browse episodes that are available to download or stream in the Feed tab
• Save your favorite episodes to keep them on your computer
• Episodes can now be automatically deleted after you play them

This update also resolves an issue where iTunes may become unresponsive when updating Genius and improves overall performance and stability. Podcasts for iOS 2.1 or later is recommended when syncing podcast episodes.

In order to sync an iOS device Contacts and Calendars to a Mac through USB, users will need to install the iTunes 11.2 update first.

Both OS X 10.9.3 and iTunes 11.2 are recommended for all Mac users.

Note: Some Mac users have discovered the /Users folder goes missing after updating to OS X 10.9.3, here’s a solution to that if it happens to you.

Update 5/16/2014: iTunes 11.2.1 is now available to resolve the aforementioned /Users folder bug where that directory turned hidden unexpectedly. Installing iTunes 11.2.1 is highly recommended to avoid any problems.


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, News


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Stuart Scadron-Wattles says:

    my mail updated itself on launch this morning, and promptly refused to connect to any outgoing servers except the Exchange account’s.
    Called Apple support. Their solution, after investigation? Restore the Mac Pro to pre-10.9.3 state. Apple support:”The 9.3 version is a beta product.” Me: “you placed a beta release OS on the App Store, where it is subject to automatic download for all users?” Apple: “Yes.”

  2. bart says:

    with the renewed attention to podcasts in itunes, you’d think they’d finally get off their a**es and implement adjustable playback speed. i can’t stand listening to podcasts at normal speed.

  3. PG23 says:

    Amen to Karen!

    A Crap ton of SMB issues- Nightmare. A Mavericks Only Keynote and FCP- More nightmare.

    Since the mavericks release my job has been impossible and my life miserable. I have spent many all nighters dealing with my 200 Macs and file incompatibilities and server disconnects, terrible performance and corrupted files. My 200 users hate me because they cant use thier old keynote files on the server… and on and on and on.. I wish i could go back to the good old days of Homogenous WinTel boxes.

  4. BiggyJohnson says:

    You got that right esetlzn!

  5. esetlzn says:


  6. Joe says:

    My Itunes freezes after update and it’s completely unusable. I can only use “Force Quit” to close it. Nothing helps, no safe mode when starting Itunes or deleting plist. It’s just unusable completely.

    I mention that I have a MBA mid 2011 if that makes any difference.

    I do not know even where to start troubleshooting?

  7. Karen says:

    As a Mac computer consultant, working with Macs since version 6.0.8 I wish TPTB at Apple would just stop!

    Stop taking control away from “Users”. Stop this insanity of what they did in Mavericks. It is time to go backwards. They have hit a wall with this upgrade.

    Windows need to open separately. What stupid mind thought it would be a good idea to take that very basic feature away and why?

    Like hiding the User folder? Like initially making everything sync through their iCloud? I can’t believe the work and trouble these changes cause not only to the customers, but to us who have to teach the clients how to use a Mac and know about how to keep their data organised and intact.

    This is Too Too MUCH and they have hit a solid wall. Just like with Windows 8, it is now time go backwards and bring the features back we DEPEND on.

    What right do they have to dictate where and how data will be stored and how we will use the system, when we need full flexibility and quick responses out of a system not more bs, control and razzle dazzle nonsense.

  8. pc says:

    Why is the user default back to hidden? Anyway to go around this?

  9. jeff_0628 says:

    此次更新不知道对vpn是否有提高链接的稳定性,对OS X小牛我的在10.9.0时登陆和联网打开网页都很快,自从更新升级到OS X小牛队10.9.2后,速度慢了很多。所以对前述问题有没有改善,只有静观一下再说了。

    Google Translate: “The update does not know whether to improve links vpn stability of OS X and networking calf of my landing pages are soon to open in 10.9.0, the update after the Mavericks since upgrading to 10.9.2 OS X, slow a lot. So there is no improvement on the previous question, only wait and see what to speak.”

  10. beebs says:

    Running Mountain Lion, just ran “Software Update” and it only shows the iTunes and a Camera RAW update, no Security Update (which you mention above).

    There was one that came out a few weeks ago, after the ‘Heartbleed’ mess, but is there another one that’s newer?

    • Alin says:

      How about not running Mountain Lion and updating to Mavericks and then wonder no longer where your update went.

      • beebs says:

        I don’t want to upgrade to Mavericks. That is not the point.

        No need for snark, I merely asked a valid question.

        The article states that there were stand-alone Security Updates for those runnining earlier systems.

        When I ran Software Update to check on that, there are none.

        I was asking if there really were any, since the article clearly states there are.

        • Paul says:

          I don’t have a machine running Lion or Mountain Lion, so the initial report sent in to us may have been erroneous. The current list on Apple’s Security Updates page suggests Security Update 2014-002 is the latest for those releases: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1222

          Will update, thanks for the additional details!

        • Kevin says:

          Well, if you read the story headline, you would have seen this update is related to 10.9.3, Maverick OS, not Mountain Lion. How is this story even remotely relevant to you?

          Why would you expect any reference to ML in an obvious Mavericks update, then complain about things that don’t relate to your situation?

          Staying on ML and not moving to Mavericks makes no sense. It is by far, streets ahead and a more efficient OS.

        • Kevin says:

          Forgive people for giving you “snark”, but you chose to comment on a story that has ZERO relevance to your situation. Some people don’t suffer fools gladly btw.

  11. Gus says:

    Ok so I installed 10.9.3, has anyone figured out how to actually sync Contacts & Calendars locally yet? Because there’s certainly no option to do so like there used to be in earlier versions pre-Mavericks.


    Modern Apple sure likes to make things unnecessarily difficult!!

    • DG says:

      Have you installed the latest iTunes?

    • Paul says:

      You must install iTunes 11.2 and have iOS 7.1 or newer on your device. Then from iOS, go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > iCloud > disable Contacts & Calendars > Choose to “Keep” > tether with USB to the Mac > launch iTunes and select iPhone > Go to “Info” tab to see the new local syncing options.

      Kind of confusing, but it works.

      • Gus says:

        Thanks got that fixed! Now why is the /Users folder missing? Did it get moved in Mavericks 10.9.3 or is it hidden or deleted or what? Anyone seen this?? Look in the root (Macintosh HD) folder of your Mac and Users is gone.

        • Paul says:

          Great question. The /Users folder is apparently now hidden by default for some users after updating to OS X 10.9.3, you can change it back by putting the following command into Terminal to make it visible again:

          sudo chflags nohidden /Users

          Here’s a very quick video showing how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leO8dBGQK4E

          Oddly, hiding of /Users did not occur on one of the Macs I updated to 10.9.3 earlier, but several reports on the Apple Discussion Boards, MacWorld, and MacRumors suggest this is a wider issue, even if somewhat random. We’ll cover more on this soon.

          • DCJ001 says:

            Once the home folder is made to appear, you can simply drag it to the sidebar, for future reference.

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