Standalone delta updates for macOS?

Not sure exactly what you are looking for here since there is no such thing as a macOS Monterey “patch” but Mr. Macintosh provides a complete list on where to find currently signed installers for recent Monterey versions.

Al, its about frustration on Apple’s changes to how we used to get MacOS updates, patches, Combo updates, etc. And Monterey’s latest patch (I can’t quote the version but there was a 1.1GB patch after updating to Monterey on this particular mac). When you visit, you go to support, and then Mac, then MacOS, and then scroll down to bottom to select Downloads. Then again, MacOS, and… nothing anymore past Catalina patches. (except the latest PC migration tool for Monterey).
My point is, and its been mentioned before, that Apple now pushes updates through the System update, and no longer has Big Sur nor Monterey, updates/patch downloads. That’s what I was referring to. If this mac’s failure to load after a patch was related, then its just more to do to undo; where before, it was just install the Combo to cover previous point releases. We are dependent on what the System Preferences Update download was doing, rather than a manual update. (apologies to this thread since I realize I should have put it on it own in Talk)

UPDATE: Just an FYI… I was successful getting the 12.2.1 update installed, that was stuck for over 2 days. Seems that shutting it down and restarting in safemode was a solution, BUT that it wanted and AppleID… to get the update! (the user had no AppleID and I resorted to using mine then logging out).
So this means you need an AppleID to do this update. For most, not a big deal. But in this case, who knew the update (no indication unless done in Safeboot mode) needed an AppleID!

I think Apple would say (and this is me trying to get in Apple’s head, not my personal opinion) that standalone updaters are no longer necessary because:

  • Nearly every Mac that exists is Internet connected, so they can get the updates.

  • For those who are concerned about multiple large downloads to update a fleet of Macs (e.g. IT admins), Apple provides content caching.

  • People keeping old updaters is a bad thing, because it will lead to people installing outdated updaters, and end up with a system with known vulnerabilities, but thinking they are up to date.

  • The updaters are digitally signed, so they’re going to expire in time anyway, so keeping one for archival purposes isn’t going to accomplish much either.

    (That having been said, I assume Apple stops signing updaters when newer ones are released, much like they do for iOS releases. Does anyone know this for sure?)

Again, this is my assumption about what Apple is thinking. I personally agree with you - that it is important to be able to keep an archive of installers and updaters. And they should never expire - as long as the signature was valid at the time the image was created, the installer should be usable.

The fact that almost all computers are Internet-connected, not all are. And not everybody wants to spend the time and bandwidth to download an installer on-demand when they have a saved copy to work with.

Just like how I can still use my Mac OS X 10.5 DVD to reinstall my PowerPC Mac, I should be able to use a saved image (or DVD or flash drive) of any recent macOS release installer to reinstall a system even if I’m completely disconnected from the Internet.


While probably true, Apple needs to realise for many people it takes days to download 5, 6, 8+GB for the Mac, then the iOS devices need updates