Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Rowf, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. Rowf macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2011

    Sorry if I appear to be ignorant on this, I've googled it but am none the wiser.

    What is a combo update?
    What is a delta update?

    Do I need one and what is the difference between the above and just using automatic updates via system preferences?

  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    This recent thread has extensive discussion on what the difference is and why you might use one versus the other.

    In simple terms, the combo updater will update to its version of the OS from any previous minor version. That is, if you have the 10.6.6 combo updater, it will update anything between 10.6.0 and 10.6.5 to 10.6.6. The delta updaters only include the files to get from one specific version to another. For example, there is a delta updater to take you from 10.6.5 to 10.6.6, but that updater won't run on 10.6.4 or earlier. Software Update will always give you a delta updater, if one is available.

    The advantage of the delta updaters is that they are MUCH smaller downloads. The disadvantage mainly has to do with if you have several Macs that either get reinstalls done or don't get updated all at once--the single delta updater will run on anything, without thinking about it. I use them at work so if I need to do an OS reinstall I have the necessary updater handy on the server.

    For practical purposes, unless something has expressly gone wrong with your computer, running Software Update and taking whatever delta updater it gives you is perfectly fine--literally millions of people do it without issue.
  3. Rowf thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2011
    Thanks for the link and clear explanation, that's tidied that question up nicely.

Share This Page