How to Identify macOS Update History

As an admin, you may need to look up a list of previously installed software updates for a device. You can do this pretty easily with system_profiler and the SPInstallHistoryDataType command.

/usr/sbin/system_profiler SPInstallHistoryDataType

This will spit out a complete list of updates installed on the device and their source and installation date, sorted by date.


      Version: 4.25.0
      Source: 3rd Party
      Install Date: 3/29/22, 8:12 AM

    Apple Configurator:

      Version: 2.15.1
      Source: Apple
      Install Date: 3/29/22, 12:03 PM


      Version: 12.0
      Source: Apple
      Install Date: 4/7/22, 8:41 AM

    macOS 12.3.1:

      Version: 12.3.1
      Source: Apple
      Install Date: 4/10/22, 12:22 PM

This is useful, but let’s say I want to only show macOS update history. In fact, I want to precisely determine, “Has this device updated to macOS Ventura from a previous version of macOS?”. If not, then it likely came preinstalled with macOS Ventura or has been wiped and restored with macOS Ventura.

So let’s dive in and figure out how we can accomplish our end goal…

Continue reading How to Identify macOS Update History