SilentKnight: how to install just one update, rather than all

It’s not uncommon when running SilentKnight for it to report two or more available updates. These may include large macOS Security Updates, which are better installed using the Software Update pane, or updates to components like Safari, which you may wish to defer for a while. If you click on the Install All Updates button, then SilentKnight will do exactly what you tell it to: it will download and try to install the lot. If that isn’t what you want, don’t click on that button, but use its feature to download only named updates.

Once SilentKnight has listed all available updates, you’ll see them identified in its lower scrolling view. Each should begin with a line containing that update’s label or name, such as
That’s the name that you’ll need to use to download that update.

Go to its File menu, and select the Install Named Update… command, which will open a new window. Select the label or name of the update that you do want installed, copy it from the scrolling view in SilentKnight’s main window and paste it into the Name of update box in the SilentKnight Updater window. Check it again against the name given in the main window, then click on the Install Named Update button in that Updater window.


SilentKnight will then request just that update. If it returns an error, chances are that you haven’t given the correct name: go back and copy and paste it another time.

You can repeat that for as many named updates as you like, one at a time. Once you’ve finished, close the Updater window and quit SilentKnight. Remember that the next time you check for updates, the same unwanted update will be offered. Don’t click on the Install All Updates button, but use the Install Named Update… command again if there are other updates you do want to install.

Another common problem which users report is that, for no apparent reason, SilentKnight stops installing updates, and just downloads them. Although you can install those (see the Help Reference for detailed instructions), the reason that they’re not being installed is because you’ve unintentionally changed SilentKnight’s settings.

To put that right, open the app menu (named SilentKnight) and check whether the two items there
Check Updates
Install Updates
are both ticked √. I’ll guarantee that the second of those isn’t. If it is, leave it alone and don’t untick it. If it isn’t ticked, select that menu item and it will then become ticked, and normal installation of updates will resume. Don’t select that menu item again once it’s correctly ticked: that works like a toggle and will untick it, and you’ll be back to square one.

One final reminder: SilentKnight is designed to download and install the more frequent small security data updates to items such as XProtect and MRT. Although it will do the same for much large updates such as macOS Security Updates and even minor version updates to macOS itself, it’s not the ideal tool to do that. It doesn’t offer the same progress bar and other support available in the Software Update pane.


Although I sometimes use SilentKnight for Safari and other larger updates, I avoid it when there’s a macOS update offered. This is simple to do: when SilentKnight reports such an update is waiting, I quit SilentKnight and open Software Update, which I use to install the macOS update. Once that’s complete, I then run SilentKnight again to ensure that everything is up to date. More often than not, it then downloads and installs additional small security updates, which could otherwise take a day or so for Software Update to notice.

These and many other features are fully documented in SilentKnight’s Help, and in full detail in its Reference, both of which are readily accessed from its Help menu. If you ever have any questions about any of my apps, you should find the answers in their Help files. Unlike some developers, I pride myself in providing extensive Help, and often spend as much time writing that as I have spent getting the code right. Please look there first – you’ll be amazed what you will discover.