Why Have macOS Updates Gotten So Absurdly Huge?

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Why Have macOS Updates Gotten So Absurdly Huge?

Mac users who pay attention to software updates may have noticed something strange over the past few years: macOS updates have gotten utterly massive. 

On iOS and older macOS versions, software updates would come in at a few hundred megabytes each, perhaps even smaller for basic fixes. But ever since Big Sur, you’re lucky to get anything smaller than 2-3GB a pop, even when the update, itself, only requires a few megabytes. This wastes data and time and—when it’s all added together—a significant amount of energy. So why are they so big? It’s mostly about reliability.

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“With Big Sur, Apple not only changed the System volume, so that macOS now boots from a sealed snapshot of the system, but it changed the way that macOS is updated,” Mac expert Dr. Howard Oakley told Lifewire via email.

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