How to Update Your MacOS (Complete Guide)

Updating your MacOS has never been simpler. Follow these steps to avoid any missteps and potentially ruining your system. 

The next upgrade for your Mac is out and ready for downloaded now. Apple calls it Big Sur. If you have not upgraded to Catalina yet, you should do so. We will also give you a quick guide to install Catalina.

Best Way to Update to Big Sur

The way to update your macOS will vary depending on which operating system you are currently running. We will start with instructions for upgrading from Catalina. This is what most people are likely to be running. There are also several ways you can check that Big Sur will run the programs you currently have installed. You can do this by running Big Sur on an external hard drive. Alternatively, you can dual boot two Mac Operating Systems at once.

How To Update Your MacOS

Best Way to Update macOS From Catalina

If you are running Catalina already then it is likely you will see a notification to upgrade. The same will likely happen if you are running Mojave. To upgrade your macOS from Catalina or Mojave follow these steps.

  • Click on the Apple logo in the menu
  • Click on System Preferences
  • Click on Software Update
  • Wait while your Mac checks for available macOS updates. 
  • Once found, click Upgrade Now.
  • Wait for the installer to download
  • Once downloaded, run the installer by clicking continue
  • Follow the onscreen instructions. It will take about half an hour to install.

It really is that simple!

How To Update Your MacOS

Best Way to Update From High Sierra or previous macOS

But what if you are still using High Sierra. Or, an even older version of macOS? Don’t worry. It’s still fairly easy to install. Simply follow our steps below. 

  • Open the App Store on your computer
  • Search for MacOS
  • Click on ‘Get’
  • Fill in your Apple ID. Do so now.
  • The installer will now start downloading. You can keep up with the Download progress at the bottom bar.
  • Wait for the installer to finish downloading
  • Once finished, the installer will open automatically
  • Click ‘continue’
  • The download will run in the background. You are free to use your computer as it installs.
How To Update Your MacOS

Best Way to Prepare Your macOS For An Update

Wait! It is best not to rush to download the update. This is because many people rush to do so when it is released. This causes everything to become sluggish and slow for everyone. There are several things you should make sure are taken care of before you upgrade. These are listed below.

  • Make sure you download the right version of Big Sur. You can do this by checking your model number against the updates online.
  • Make sure your Mac is compatible with Big Sur. If it is not listed as compatible, do not panic. It will still run Big Sur, it will just be more complicated to install. It is also a little riskier to install it if it is not supported. You could lose data or corrupt files. So just make sure you have researched the risks before going ahead with it.
  • Make space for the install. Apple recommends having at least 20GB free. It is also advised to keep ten percent of your Mac’s space free at all times.
  • Backup your data! This is essential and you should not skip this step. A faulty install could lead to a total loss of data. You can perform an easy backup with Apple’s TimeMachine. Not only is it simple and easy to use, but it is free. 
  • Make sure you are on a trusted network. This is important at all times. Performing any actions on an insecure network means that you could potentially be being monitored. This in turn could lead to your personal information being stolen.
  • Make sure your Mac is in generally good health. You can do this in the Disk utility First Aid tab.You can boot your Mac in recovery mode by holding CTRL and R. Then, perform your disc health checks.
  • Log in to iCloud. We recommend this because iCloud is heavily integrated into Apple services. 

If you have followed our article up until this point you should now have updated your MacOS with no problems. From here on out, checking for updates should be a walk in the park. You can check for a system update whenever you like. Simply open system preferences and click on software update. If an update is available, it will be shown here. Happy updating! 

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