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Apple has already released macOS Monterey, so you can proceed with updating your computer. Is my Mac compatible? We will tell you how to install the new version of the operating system and its main novelties.
The availability of the new version of macOS Monterey is already official since last October 25, once Apple has carried out the presentation of the new MacBook Pro 14 and 16-inch devices, which you can already purchase through the Apple Store.
In this way, we wanted to focus on this report on the steps to take to install and update your Mac computer to the latest version of macOS Monterey and take advantage of the exciting news that the new Apple desktop is the operating system already promises.
How do I upgrade my Mac to macOS Monterey?
As with the other operating systems announced by Apple for its devices, macOS Monterey is available through the Mac Apple Store in an update if it turns out that your computer is among the compatible models that support it.
You can check the current status of the beta versions and subscribe to this modality on Apple’s Beta software programs website, something essential if you are an app developer.
So far and over the past year, Mac users have been using macOS Big Sur. It is a version made public at the end of last year, along with the novelty of the Mac mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro computers with M1 chipset.
Next, we will guide you step by step to solve the appearance of problems or obstacles in the update. Read on to learn how to upgrade to Big Sur from different editions of macOS Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, or an earlier version of macOS X.
Which computers are compatible with macOS Monterey
These are the computers that, according to Apple, are compatible with the new version of the macOS Monterey operating system:
- Late 2015 and newer iMacs
- iMac Pro 2017 and later
- Mac Pro late 2013 and newer
- Mac mini from Late 2014 and newer
- MacBook Pro from Early 2015 and later
- MacBook Air from Early 2015 and later
- MacBook from Early 2016 and later
How to get macOS Big Sur on your Mac
It is possible that your biggest concern is to know if some of the software programs that you currently handle and need to use daily will continue to work on the new operating system. Fortunately, there are a few ways to try this with Big Sur without removing the previous version of macOS.
You can directly update by downloading the macOS Monterey DMG file.
Upgrade from Catalina to Mojave
If you have Mojave or Catalina installed on your Mac, the update will come naturally through the ‘Software Update’ option. You may even see a notification that a system update is available. Proceed as follows:
- Open ‘System Preferences‘ (you can click on the Apple logo in the menu to find it).
- Click on ‘Software Update.’
- Your computer will check for updates and show that an update is available for your Mac. Click ‘Update Now’ to download the installer for the new version of macOS.
- While the installer is downloading, you will be able to continue using your Mac. Once the installer has been downloaded, you can click to install the new version of the operating system.
- Keep in mind that your Mac will be out of service while the new version is installed.
Upgrade from High Sierra or earlier
If you’re running High Sierra or earlier, follow these steps:
- Launch the App Store on your Mac (click the blue icon that contains a white A, or search by pressing the space + command and typing App Store).
- Search for macOS.
- Click ‘Get‘ (previous versions of the App Store may have a download button).
- Fill in your Apple ID information if prompted.
- The installer will start downloading. You can see how long it will take if you look at the bar below Download.
- Once the installation file has been downloaded, a window will appear on your Mac, telling you to continue. The installation file can be found under ‘Applications‘ (although it will open automatically).
- Fortunately, the download is done in the background, so you can continue working or browsing the web during the process.
How long will it take?
When we started downloading Big Sur, our Mac said it would take us 10 hours to completely download the 11.98 GB file, so you should arm yourself with some patience, primarily if the download uses a low-speed Wi-Fi network.
You may want to leave your Mac by downloading the OS update overnight. All this is before starting with the installation, at which point you will not even be able to use your Mac, something that could take you an hour.
Now that you have the installation files, we explain how to install Big Sur below.
How to upgrade to macOS Big Sur from previous versions
Once the installer has been downloaded (as described above), you’re ready to install the macOS software on your Mac.
- Once the installation file has been downloaded, you should see a pop-up window on your Mac asking you to start the installation process.
- If you’re ready to install, click ‘Continue‘ (note that it may take some time, so finish what you have in hand before proceeding with the installation).
- Follow the on-screen instructions to finish installing the software update, which should take half to an hour, depending on your Mac’s specifications.
If you have problems, here’s what you should do if your Mac freezes during the installation process.
How to prepare your Mac for an operating system update
Usually, we recommend not jumping into the pool and installing new software right away, which we mean as soon as Apple releases it. Regardless of how strict Apple’s testing process is, it is inevitable that problems will arise with initial downloads.
Even if there are no problems, Apple’s servers often get overloaded as all users rush to update, which can slow down the process. Therefore, we recommend that you have patience and do a little cleaning beforehand.
There are a few things worth keeping in mind before downloading a new version of the Mac operating system. If you review all of this first, you’re less likely to have problems after the update.
Here are the steps you need to follow when updating your Mac to the latest version of macOS.
- Find the version of macOS you need.
- Check that your Mac is compatible.
- Make sure you have enough space on your Mac. The installation file for the Big Sur beta was 10 GB!
- Back up your Mac. How to Backup A Mac to Time Machine with any Hard Drive
- Make sure your Mac is healthy.
- Sign in to iCloud.
- Make sure you’re in a trusted network.
- Update to the latest version of your current version of macOS.
- Download macOS only from the Mac App Store.
- Install macOS on your Mac.
We also cover how to update your Mac with minor OS updates that Apple issues year-round – if it’s just an update to the current version of macOS.
Find the version of macOS you need
The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out exactly which version of the Mac operating system to install and make sure there’s no reason not to install it.
If you decide to wait and download the macOS version a few months after launch, or if you’re thinking about upgrading your Mac to an older version of macOS, keep in mind that the version you’ll download will be a version earlier than the last update.
Therefore, you should expect to have to update the operating system again once you have installed it, but this should happen automatically. Apple continues to release updates throughout the year, patching vulnerabilities and fixing issues.
Make sure you have enough space.
Apple suggests that you should have at least 20GB of free space on your Mac’s drive before installing a new version of macOS, although you may not need as much.
We recommend that you always try to have 10% of the total space on your Mac free. If you don’t have the space you need or your Mac is very slow, find out how to improve your Mac’s performance before proceeding with the new installation.
Another exciting option is to back up your Mac. Time Machine has always facilitated this process. However, we suggest you look at our list of the best backup software for Mac this year.
Make sure you’re on a reliable Wi-Fi network.
We also recommend being on a reliable network, whether at home or your job. In addition to having a good bandwidth, it is interesting to avoid downloading this type of update in hotels, cafes, or places with public Wi-Fi networks.
Sometimes, if you are close to the router and your Mac allows it, you can use a wired Gigabit Ethernet connection with which the download will be carried out much faster without saturating the connection of the rest of the users.
Update all your software to the latest version
Before upgrading to the new version of macOS, install the latest updates for the version of macOS you’re running. From time to time, there will be software updates to improve stability.
There’s always a chance you’ll have trouble upgrading to the new version of the Mac operating system if you haven’t pre-installed this essential update beforehand, so do your housework first.
You should also make sure that you have updated the third-party apps. Those updates may include changes needed to update to the latest version of macOS, and if you don’t run the updates, they may not work correctly.
Launch the App Store app and click the ‘Updates’ button in the toolbar to update the apps you purchased from the Mac App Store. Then click on ‘Update All’ simply by providing your Apple ID and password.
For apps you purchased elsewhere, you’ll need to install updates manually. You can check for available updates from the app menu. In Microsoft Word, for example, it’s about clicking ‘Help> Check for Updates.’
Check compatibility with your third-party apps before updating macOS. That way, you’ll be all set and running right away, rather than feeling frustrated that your favorite apps and add-ons aren’t working like they used to.
How to install a macOS update
Installing updates for macOS once you’re running Big Sur, Catalina, or Mojave is a bit different than the previous ones. Instead of opening the Mac App Store, you’ll need to do the following:
- Open system preferences.
- Click on ‘Software Update‘
- Then click update your software if one is available
- You can also click on the Apple logo on the menu bar and select ‘Software Update.‘
How to install a macOS update in High Sierra or earlier
If you’ve already installed the new version of macOS and want to install the latest update to that software, you’ll find it in the Updates tab of the Mac App Store.
- Open the Mac App Store.
- Click on ‘Updates‘.
- Click ‘Update‘ next to the updates you want to install.
- Suppose the software has not yet been downloaded (you can set it to do so automatically). It will download in the background.
- Once the software has been downloaded, you will see a notification to inform you that it is ready to be installed.
- Your Mac may notify you that it will restart before installing the update, so you can bet on postponing the update for a while.
- Click ‘Update Again‘ and wait while your Mac restarts and installs the update when you’re ready to proceed.
- Your Mac will shut down, and the installation will begin; remember that this can take a while, and there is no warning until it starts up again. A recent update can take up to 24 minutes, so don’t panic.
- After the installation is complete, your Mac will restart.