How to Update Chrome on a Mac

Stay on top of security and feature improvements

What to Know

  • Chrome installs updates automatically when the browser restarts.
  • Check manually from the menu: Help > About Google Chrome.
  • Green, orange, and red alerts are pending updates; click to apply.

This article explains how to apply a Google Chrome update on a Mac. It should work the same for all versions of Mac running a modern edition of the browser.

How to Update Chrome Manually on a Mac

Not sure if there’s an update ready? Check the “About Chrome” area of the settings for details.

  1. Select the three-dot menu at the top right of the browser.

  2. Go to Help > About Google Chrome.

    About Google Chrome help menu option in Chrome for Mac.
  3. If an update is required, you can watch it download now, after which you’ll be prompted to restart the browser. Otherwise, you’ll see the message Google Chrome is up to date.

    Google Chrome is up to date message in the about chrome area of the browser

How to Apply Pending Chrome Updates on a Mac

Another situation where Chrome can be updated is if it’s been a while since the update was released and you've been putting off applying it.

When this happens, the menu button at the top right will change to a different color to indicate the urgency:

  • Green: An update has been ready for 2 days.
  • Orange: An update has been ready for 4 days.
  • Red: An update has been ready for at least a week.

Selecting the colored button shows a prompt to apply the update. Click to restart Chrome and install it.

Chrome Can Also Update Automatically

Typically, the browser updates automatically in the background. If you regularly close and reopen Chrome, they’ll be applied largely without you noticing. It's the best way to keep the software fresh with updates.

The only reasons to follow the other directions above are if you know Chrome recently pushed out an update, but you don't see the green alert, or you haven't installed an update in a while.

Can't Update Chrome?

Sometimes, the update utility doesn't work, and you can't get new updates from Google. The best thing to do in this situation is to delete the browser and install a fresh copy from Google's website.

  1. Uninstall Chrome.

    To ensure nothing gets removed during the uninstallation process, consider signing in to your Google account and syncing your bookmarks, passwords, etc., so when you reinstall it, those items will for sure still be available.

  2. Download Chrome.

    Download Chrome button on Google's website.
  3. Follow the installation steps to install it.

Are Chrome Updates Necessary?

Updates are the only way we get improvements from software makers. It's how we get a snappier and more stable program, and how new and exciting features become available.

But even if you're not interested in new functions, updates are the only way to patch security holes and other vulnerabilities, which is essential when dealing with a browser since it's your direct communication with the internet.

If you've had experience with a Chrome update crashing your computer or causing more harm than good, wait a day or two to apply the update. Feel free to wait for the green menu button; by then, hopefully, you'd have heard of significant issues with the update and can hold off for a fix from Google.

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