For the first time, Apple is rolling out a Rapid Security Response update. It is a new software release method for its three popular operating systems, iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.
Previously, security patches were baked in with OS updates. This delayed the deployment of security issues that had already been resolved. Rapid Security Responses, or RSR, separate security updates from OS updates. Now security patches, especially zero-day bugs, can be tackled with automatic over-the-air updates without waiting for an OS update to roll out.
Devices running iOS 16.4.1, iPadOS 16.4.1, and macOS 13.3.1 or later are eligible to receive RSR. A big difference with RSR is that you don’t need to restart your device to apply the patch. By default, automatic updates are enabled. You can check your device settings by:
- iPhone or iPad: Go to Settings > General > Software Update > Automatic Updates, then make sure “Security responses and system files” is turned on.
- Mac: Choose Apple menu > System Settings. Click General in the sidebar, then click Software Update on the right. Click the Show details button next to Automatic updates, then make sure “Install security responses and system files” is turned on.
For your protection, if you choose to disable RSR, Apple will still provide you with relevant fixes or mitigations in the next software update for your device.