Apple releases Mac OS 10.5.5

Apple Inc. released Mac OS X 10.5.5 to patch at least 34 security vulnerabilities, about a third of them considered critical, and to fix another 34 reliability and stability bugs — including several in the services that synchronize Macs with other Macs, iPhones and Palm PDAs.

Apple notes that the 10.5.5 update is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Leopard, as it includes “general operating system fixes that enhance the stability, compatibility and security of [their] Mac.” If you’re eager to update, regardless of what the package contains, here’s a direct download link. Alternately, choose Software Update from the Apple menu, select the Mac OS X 10.5.5 update, and hit install. Whatever method you choose to update your software, it’s best if you quit all open applications before starting the installation.

Software Update

Choose Software Update from the Apple menu to automatically check for the latest Apple software via the Internet, including this update. (Software Update might have linked you to this article to learn more about the update.) If your computer is not up-to-date, other software updates available for your computer may appear which you should install. Note: An update’s size may vary from computer to computer when installed using Software Update. Also, some updates must be installed prior to others, so you should run Software Update more than once to make sure you have all available updates.

Standalone installer

Download the update installer and run it manually. This is a useful option when you need to update multiple computers but only want to download the update once. These versions of the standalone installers are available from Apple Downloads.

The Mac OS X 10.5.5 Update is recommended for all versions of Mac OS X 10.5 through 10.5.4.

The delta update lets you update from Mac OS X 10.5.4 to 10.5.5.

The combo update lets you update from Mac OS X 10.5, 10.5.1, 10.5.2, 10.5.3 or 10.5.4 to 10.5.5.


Includes recent Apple security updates
Addresses stability issues with video playback, processor core idling, and remote disc sharing for MacBook Air.
Addresses an issue in which some Macs could unexpectedly power on at the same time each day.
Resolves a stability issue in TextEdit that could be found when accessing the color palette.
Improves Spotlight indexing performance.
Fixes an issue in which contacts might not sync properly with PalmOS-based devices.
Improves iPhone sync reliability with iCal and Address Book.
Includes improvements to Active Directory (see this article for more information).
Improves Speech Dictionary.
Fixes Kerberos authentication issues for Mac OS X 10.5 clients that connect to certain Samba servers, such as Mac OS X Server version 10.4.
Includes extensive graphics enhancements.

Address Book

Addresses stability issues that may occur when creating a Smart Group.
Resolves a printing issue with address cards containing information that spans more than one page.

Disk Utility and Directory Utility

Improves reliability when rebuilding a software mirror RAID volume in Disk Utility.
Improves reliability of server status displayed in Directory Utility.


Updates iCal to more accurately handle repeating events.
Improves performance when choosing meeting attendees.
Resolves an issue in which the “Refresh All” option may be dimmed (“grayed out”) in the contextual menu for certain calendars.
Fixes issues with read-only calendars.
Addresses an issue that prevents an invitee from moving an event to a different calendar.
Resolves an issue with syncing published calendars.


Addresses performance issues related to displaying IMAP messages.
Resolves an issue with SMTP settings for AIM, Compuserve, Hanmail, Yahoo!, and Time Warner Road Runner email accounts.
Addresses stability issues that may occur when dragging a file to the Mail icon in the Dock.
Addresses an issue with the “Organized by Thread” view in which the date does not appear when the thread is collapsed.
Resolves an issue in which RSS feeds could temporarily disappear from the sidebar.
Improves Mail robustness when sending messages.
Improves reliability when saving drafts that have attachments.


Improves overall sync reliability.
Improves Back to My Mac reliability.

Time Machine

Improves Time Machine reliability with Time Capsule.
Addresses performance issues that may affect initial and in-progress backups.
Fixes an issue in which an incorrect alert message could appear stating that a backup volume does not have enough free space.
Time Machine can now back up iPhone backups that are on your Mac, as well as other items in (~/Library/Application Support).

Should anything go wrong during the installation process, Apple advises users to have a look at the Troubleshooting Automatic Software Update in Mac OS X.


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