Some apps update VERY frequently

Just about every day I run MacUpdater under Ventura on my M2 Mac mini. This is a great app which identifies, and installs, updates for all the apps on the machine. I have noticed that certain apps appear to update several times a week. These are OneDrive, Skype, and Signal. A couple of others seem to update at least twice a month: Brave Browser and Zoom.

I can understand the need to issue an update if a security vulnerability has been identified and this might explain Signal but what about the others?

Does anyone have an explanation?

I would not install this software (“MacUpdater”) myself and would advise anyone to be very careful and suspicious of the “results” it provides. No Mac software worthy of paying for (or even using) needs an external, third party program to alert the end user when to update.

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There’s a related discussion here:


Zoom is moving to use some or all of your input for AI learning. Probably needs a lot of internal tuning.

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This sounds like these companies are using agile software development methodologies, in conjunction with continuous integration/continuous deployment.

Basically, it means that there are many development teams that work on small tight schedules (typically 2-3 weeks) to develop specific features. When the team finishes a feature, it is pushed over to the CI/CD servers, where automated tests are run and if it passes the tests, gets immediately deployed to whatever upgrade/app-store servers host it.

So if there are a dozen teams operating on a staggered schedule, you could easily see several releases a week, each one adding/updating a small feature.

But there’s really no need to install each and every update as they come out. It’s just as good to wait for the app’s auto-updater, which will probably work on a less frequent schedule, unless there’s a critical update (bug or security fix) that needs to be installed.


I would be interested to see the evidence that the app is problematic. When I run it, it lists the installed apps for which an update is available. Those lists have always been correct as I have validated by opening each listed app and using its built-in update commands. I find it convenient to update in this way rather than waiting until I need the app and then having to wait until the update completes.

However, this leaves open the question about update frequency.

Whatever works for you, I guess.

Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

I’m a fan of MacUpdater (which is completely unrelated to the defunct MacUpdate app). MacUpdater is a very convenient tool for making sure that your apps are kept current, and it is very transparent about the location of update URLs. I have it set to scan once a day for updates. I like having a dashboard for managing updates all at once instead of having my day interrupted by updates. I’ve also exchanged a few messages with the developer, and they have been very responsive, polite, and professional.


Same experience. I had a question about running MacUpdater on an older Mac and the developer responded immediately with a fix.

I’m a long time fan of MacUpdater from it’s earliest days after some really bad experiences with MacUpdate. It saves me an immense amount of time in chasing down updates for the apps that aren’t obtained from the App Store or automatically updated such as Adobe, Microsoft and Google plus ones that use the Sparkle framework. Almost all updates that it provides are done using the Developer’s link, so there’s little danger of getting a bogus update. I’m a frequent user of the feedback link to challenge updates that appear to be incorrect for some reason (e.g. beta or won’t run in a particular macOS) and always get a reply within 24 hours.

As far as the OP’s main question, most of the release notes for the frequent updated apps indicate they are bug fixes or to prevent crashes for a limited number of users. That just means that they don’t have the resources or see the need to fully test new versions on a variety of platforms and OSs. They rely heavily on feedback from users instead of using a broad QA approach.

This is the answer you seek. And while I have no opinion about MacUpdater (et al), I’d suggest that you consider resisting FOMO and only update when there is a compelling reason to do so. Just say no to being unpaid QA.


I think VueScan has a new version every time I open it. Updating it has become part of my film scanning routine, but rather than be annoyed, I just remain glad that Ed Hamrick is so dedicated to supporting old scanners.


That’s the key. It’s just a development style and doesn’t mean that the software in question has any more bugs or is related to some conspiracy theory.

Web browsers in particular tend to update frequently.

Makes sense, thanks.

As a security professional, I too am suspicious of any app that purports to do this. HOWEVER, my experience over the past two years with MacUpdater has been uniformly positive. It alerts me to apps that are supposed to auto-update but which haven’t yet (for whatever reason).

As un-patched, out-of-date apps and operating systems are the BIGGEST vector for malware, I recommend MacUpdater without reservation.

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Amen to that. LaserSoft hasn’t updated the version of Silverfast for my elderly but still fully functional Polaroid Sprintscan 4000+ since the Snow Leopard era. Thanks to Vuescan, I can still use it. Good to know that I can still torture myself cleaning up dusty film scans from The Polaroid. I think I bought it in 2002.


I have to say, with respect to @fellwalker57, @alvarnell, @josehill and @TonyTownsend, that I was initially skeptical about using MacUpdater to keep Mac apps up to date; especially given the probability of malware and other such apps in this space. After investigating and evaluating (and paying quite a bit of money for) the app I must say MacUpdater is worth it for me. I have a lot of apps that are direct from developers and requires a bit of effort to keep them up to date. Some (e.g. XQuartz) run in the background and receive little attention. Now I can use it like other package managers e.g. Homebrew to keep them up to date.


Every time I wake my M MacBook I do two things — run Howard Oakley’s Silent Knight to check the status of Apple’s anti-malware suite; and check MacUpdater’s Menu bar dialogue.

Wouldn’t be without either of those utilities!

Bill Stanford: Thank you for telling me about SilentKnight. Howard Oakley is an amazing source of macOS insights and help.

I don’t use MacUpdater, but I do find apps that frequently update can be a nuisance and break things. It’s particularly aggravating with conference call software when you find yourself forced to update when you call in. So is software that changes web connection addresses in a way that breaks the connection in your password management software, making you manually hunt for your password.