Applying Apple Updates using Managed Software Center 5+

Applying Apple updates offered via Managed Software Center has changed and a new workflow is needed to have Apple updates that require a restart properly installed.

The delivery of Apple Software Updates via Managed Software Center (MSC) has changed a bit with the release of version 5 of the MSC (munki) framework.


Due to the unreliability of applying Apple Software Updates in versions previous to version 5, MSC will no longer attempt to install any macOS updates/Security Updates that require a restart on Macs that are running macOS Mojave or later. MSC will instead direct users to use the System Preferences Software Update pane to install these updates.

1. When/if a macOS Update/Security Update is available for a Mac, MSC will list it in a manner similar to the screen shot below.

Security Update 1

 2. Upon clicking the "Update All" button in the MSC window, the user will be presented with a dialog box asking if they'd like to install the pending Apple Update or skip it for now.

Security Update 2

3. If the user clicks "Install now," the user will be taken to the Software Update section of System Preferences where the user will have to begin the update process. Depending on the Mac's configuration, the user will be presented with one of two screens.

If the Mac has not been updated with macOS Mojave Security Update 2020-03, the user will be presented with the screen below. Click "Update Now" and the updates will begin.

Update Now

4. If the Mac has had the 2020-03 Security Update for Mojave applied, the Software Update window will look slightly different. Do NOT click "Upgrade Now." Clicking that will begin the process of upgrading the Mac to macOS Catalina, which may not be desired at this time (reference our Upgrading to macOS Catalina KB article for reasons why that may be.) Instead, click the "More info..." link below "Other updates are available."

Upgrade Now

5. Clicking that "More info..." link will bring up a list of pending Apple Software Updates that the user can then install by clicking "Install Now."

More Info

UW Oshkosh Information & Technology is not trying to prevent users from upgrading to macOS Catalina if they so choose. However, upgrading to Catalina from within the Software Update System Preference section almost always requires admin privileges. Any user can initiate an upgrade to macOS Catalina by locating the macOS Catalina installer from within MSC. Using MSC to upgrade to Catalina does not require admin privileges.

Admin for Cat

6. Lastly, in the event that the user clicked "Skip these updates" in section 2 above, MSC will not launch System Preferences and will simply remove the Apple Update from the list for this session.


The pending update will return the next time MSC checks in, be it automatically in the background or manually by user intervention.

Apple Update Again

If you need further assistance please contact the Information Technology Help Desk at 920-424-3020 or

Sources and References:

Keywords:msc, macOS, high Sierra, Mojave, Catalina, managed software center, munki, security updates, system patches, Macintosh, Mac, security, legacy, research appleupdates   Doc ID:102901
Owner:Tony P.Group:UW Oshkosh
Created:2020-06-09 09:57 CSTUpdated:2020-10-22 07:35 CST
Sites:UW Oshkosh
Feedback:  9   1