Apple’s macOS 11 Big Sur promises faster software update installs

Apple last month announced macOS 11 Big Sur with a significantly redesigned interface and many new features, including powerful enhancements to Messages, Maps, and privacy, new widgets, Control Center, and more.

The update also delivers features that weren’t mentioned during Apple’s keynote address at WWDC 2020, such as faster software update installs that happen in the background, allowing users to continue using their Macs during the download and prep of the OS updates.

macOS Big Sur, unveiled at WWDC20, introduces a beautiful redesign and new features in Safari, Messages, and Maps.
macOS Big Sur, unveiled at WWDC20, introduces a beautiful redesign and new features in Safari, Messages, and Maps.

Filipe Espósito for 9to5Mac:

Users are currently unable to use the Mac during the update installation process, which can take up to an hour depending on the update. Both the preparation and installation process are done on boot, so the system remains inaccessible until the update is complete.

According to a note from Apple’s website, macOS Big Sur makes the software update process faster by running part of the process in the background. Once macOS Big Sur is installed, software updates begin in the background and complete faster than before — so it’s easier than ever to keep your Mac up to date and secure.

Apple hasn’t detailed how the updates are installed, but we assume the process is now more similar to iOS, where the system prepares the update and the necessary files before rebooting.

MacDailyNews Take: A welcome addition from iOS / iPadOS for macOS!


  1. I have to be honest: I was greatly concerned about the transition to Catalina with its elimination of 32-bit (thought for sure I’d need a Parallels partition, I did not. Not at all), but it ended up being a trifle, and the system is snappy and robust. Actually looking forward to Big Sur. Some of us thought this convergence and notion of a hub were the future when the iPhone first debuted, and slowly, so very slowly, it would appear that Apple are getting there. I have switched from dark pessimism to the notion that once again, in a few years, everyone in tech is going to be copying Apple. And to all you late adopters: seriously, Catalina is terrific. Big Sur will be, too.

  2. So is it official? OSX 10.x.x.x is deprecated? And OSX as a name itself too? Now it’s MacOS, with an 11? I know Apple has been pushing MacOS lately, but is the 11 official?

  3. Worst thing about MacOS right now is the Finder. It is slow as a dog, with constant 10 second lockups for the disks to spin up for no reason. File handling on iPad is a nightmare, I hope Apple isn’t trying to kill the finder for that.

  4. Will Apple allow us to turn off the update notifications nag that pops up all the time? Have had multiple users get burned by this for 10.15 update. Which then destroys Apple Mail.

  5. How about a change to the App Store so that when you search for an app, you can select or de-select any software that comes with a subscription? Subscriptions suck.

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