A software update framework for macOS
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Sparkle Build Status Carthage compatible CocoaPods sponsored by: StackPath

Secure and reliable software update framework for Cocoa developers.

Sparkle shows familiar update window with release notes


  • Seamless. There's no mention of Sparkle; your icons and app name are used.
  • Secure. Updates are verified using DSA signatures and Apple Code Signing.
  • Fast. Supports delta updates which only patch files that have changed.
  • Easy to install. Sparkle requires no code in your app, and only needs static files on a web server.
  • Supports bundles, preference panes, plugins, and other non-.app software. Can install .pkg files for more complicated products.
  • Handles permissions, quarantine and automatically asks for authentication if needed.
  • Uses RSS-based appcasts for release information. Appcasts are a de-facto standard supported by 3rd party update-tracking programs and websites.
  • Sparkle stays hidden until second launch for better first impressions.
  • Truly self-updating — the user can choose to automatically download and install all updates in the background.

Changes since 1.5b

  • Compatibilty with macOS Sierra.
  • Up-to-date with 10.12 SDK and Xcode 8 (supports macOS 10.7+).
  • Important security fixes.
  • Cleaned up and modernized code, using ARC and Autolayout.
  • Truly automatic background updates (no UI at all) when user agreed to "Automatically download and install updates in the future."
  • Upgraded and more reliable binary delta and code signing verification.
  • Ability to mark updates as critical.
  • Progress and status notifications for the host app.


  • Runtime: macOS 10.7 or greater
  • Build: Xcode 7 and 10.11 SDK or greater
  • HTTPS server for serving updates (see App Transport Security)


See getting started guide. No code is necessary, but a bit of Xcode configuration is required.


API symbols

Sparkle is built with -fvisibility=hidden -fvisibility-inlines-hidden which means no symbols are exported by default. If you are adding a symbol to the public API you must decorate the declaration with the SU_EXPORT macro (grep the source code for examples).

Building the distribution package

cd to the root of the Sparkle source tree and run make release. Sparkle-VERSION.tar.bz2 will be created in a temporary directory and revealed in Finder after the build has completed.

Alternatively, build the Distribution scheme in the Xcode UI.

Code of Conduct

We pledge to have an open and welcoming environment. See our Code of Conduct.

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