In praise of MacUpdate Desktop

Apple’s made it easier than ever to manage system updates by tying them to the Mac App Store, and the Mac App Store also makes it very easy to download updates to software you’ve bought there. But I use dozens of other applications and add-on software that wasn’t downloaded from the Mac App Store – apps purchased and downloaded directly from the developers’ web sites, for example.

Over the years I’ve amassed quite a collection, and keeping all those apps up to date would be a full-time job if it weren’t for a handy tool I’ve kept in my arsenal for years: MacUpdate Desktop.

MacUpdate Desktop is the local client app counterpart to the popular MacUpdate software download service. It scans your hard drive for software that’s out of date and tells you what needs to be updated, then links you to update files you can download directly through the client app.

It makes it really easy to make sure you’re running the latest versions of just about anything, and will warn you if an update that’s available is a paid upgrade, in case you need to wait until payday before you can go to the next version of an important tool.

MacUpdate Desktop is available as a 10-day free trial download; it costs $20 per year to use. That may sound like a luxury compared to the Mac App Store, which updates apps for free. But it’s totally worth it for me, because I depend heavily on third-party software I’ve bought outside the Mac App Store, and there’s nothing more frustrating than launching an app only to discover that an important new update has been released that fixes a problem I’ve had or adds a feature I’ve been waiting for.

  • Second App I load onto any new Mac. First of course is iStat Menus. But hey, that’s another post…

  • I had this for a couple years, and then decided “eh I can do it manually” … after a month or two with my subscription lapsed, I reactivated it. It really is nice to have, especially for more oddball things like plugins that you don’t really think to keep updated unless they’re part of another application.

  • D Pauw

    Yeah, great service. I only stopped using them because most of my Apps were covered by the App Store or updated infrequently enough as to not bother paying attention.

  • kibbles

    is this a sponsored post? or just praise?


    This is a pretty great service. An alternative for the frugal is Bodega. You’ll need to compare for yourself as everyone’s needs can be so different.