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These upgrades ensure the security of your Apple devices.

David Nield|

Released May 24, 2023 8:00 AM EDT

Individual outdoors holding a white iPhone on their hands.

To quickly keep your devices safe, Quick Security Response updates are developed. Unsplash/Malte Helmhold

The health of your various gadgets depends on software updates, therefore it’s normally advantageous to install them as soon as they become available. Apple is aware of this, therefore they released an alternative software upgrade dubbed Rapid Security Response. These locations work significantly differently and are independent of standard iOS or macOS updates.

Do not be alarmed if you see a Rapid Security Response warning on one of your Apple devices; it is there to keep your device secure.

These updates perform a lot of important work behind the scenes to improve security and reliability in addition to the more flashy, user-facing enhancements. The concern is that significant security issues can occasionally arise and need to be addressed immediately rather than in a few weeks or months.

Rapid Security Responses come into play in this situation. Apple is able to deliver these alerts whenever necessary to ensure that security flaws do not linger for too long. The company claims that these responses could help “reduce some security problems quicker,” particularly those that pose a real threat. These upgrades are currently being sent by the company to Macs, iPads, and iPhones running macOS 13.3.1 or later, iOS 16.4.1, or iPadOS 16.4.1. If you haven’t already, be sure to update your operating system to acquire them.

How to use Rapid Security Response updates

Because Rapid Security Responses are so important, Apple’s operating system will automatically employ them; unlike ordinary updates, you will not have the option to snooze them. The setup process may be going on in the background without your knowledge, but you won’t know until it’s finished because your device may need to reboot in order to use the updates.

We strongly advise licencing these automatic updates for the health of your Apple device, but you can stop Rapid Security Responses if you feel strongly about not allowing software to install without your consent. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad and select General Software Update and Automatic Updates to get started.When there, select the Security Responses & System Files option, and then toggle it off. Open the Apple menu on a Mac computer, then select System Settings General and Software Update.Toggle off the Install Security Responses and system files option, locate the detail button next to Automatic updates, and click it.

The iOS, iPadOS, or macOS version number will have a lowercase letter following it when your Apple device sets up a Rapid Security Response, for example, “macOS Ventura Version 13.3.1 (a)”. Go to Settings on an iPhone or iPad, or System Settings on a Mac, and pick General, followed by About, to check this out.You’ll notice that, in contrast to typical software updates, these special security patches do not offer any information about what they have fixed, probably out of concern for speed and security.

[Related: Effective methods for controlling Windows and macOS software updates]

You can still manually search for Rapid Security Responses if you’ve disabled these automated updates in the same way as you would for any other upgrade: Simply navigate to General and Software Update in your Apple device’s settings. Any Rapid Security Responses that your device does not immediately employ will be included into the subsequent basic software upgrade, but we strongly advise you to protect your device by installing them as soon as they become available.

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