Operating System

How To Update Your Operating System On Mac

A 2019 report found that 22% of critical or high-risk cyber threats had to do with outdated software. They were either missing crucial patches or no longer supported by the developer.

As if that’s not bad enough, malware detections in Macs have more than doubled from 2018 to 2019. In 2018, the number of detected malware types in Macs was only 4.8. In 2019, this jumped to a staggering 11 detections.

All those scary figures should be enough to prompt you to learn how to update the operating system of your Mac. The last thing you want, after all, is to become a victim of cybercrime.

Besides, keeping your Mac’s OS up-to-date will help keep it running efficiently.

Ready to learn how to get the latest version of macOS? Then let’s get this guide started!

Find Out Which Macos Version You’re Using

This is important as the version you have installed in your Mac will dictate which OS you can upgrade to. For instance, if you still have Lion or Mountain Lion, you’d need to download and install El Capitan first. Only then can you get Catalina, which is the most recent macOS version.

If you’re using OS X Mavericks, OS X Yosemite, or OS X El Capitan, you can upgrade to Catalina right away. The same goes if you have macOS Mojave, High Sierra, or Sierra.

To determine which type you have in your Mac, go to the Apple menu and then click “About This Mac.” A window will pop up, telling you the exact OS version you currently have.

Make Sure You Have Enough Virtual And Physical Memory

The current OS version installed in your Mac will also influence how much memory you need to get an upgrade. For instance, you’d need at least 18.5GB of physical memory if you have OS X Yosemite or another older version. The update will also require at least 4GB of RAM.

If you have El Capitan or a more recent OS version, you’d only need 12.5GB of free storage space. Be sure that you still have at least 4GB of memory, though.

Unless your Mac is a 2006 or earlier model, then it should have at least 4 GB of memory. It’s the available disk space that you have to worry about.

To find out how much disk space you still have, go back to the “About This Mac” window. Maneuver to the “Storage” section to check how much actual physical memory you still have left.

Free Up Physical Storage

If your Mac doesn’t meet the disk space upgrade requirements, it’s time to free up some of its physical memory. Start by sifting through your app or service list and then uninstalling those you don’t need. Check each of your folders, too, and be sure to delete as many unwanted files (especially videos) as you can.

Don’t forget to clear your Trash folder after. All those deleted files will remain in this location unless you hit that “Empty” button.

Backup Your Files

Data loss is so common that in 2019, 65.1% of surveyed consumers said they experienced such issues. Unfortunately, this can happen to you during and after your macOS upgrade if you don’t create a backup.

So, before running the OS update process, connect an external hard drive to your Mac first. Doing so will let you create a Time Machine backup of everything in your device. If you don’t have an external hard drive, you can create copies of your most important files and save them in iCloud.

Connect Your Mac To A Stable Internet Service

If you have your Mac connected to a Personal Hotspot, it likely won’t download the OS upgrade file. That’s because there’s a significant amount of data contained in operating system updates. As such, you’d need to connect your Apple computer to a secure Wi-Fi connection.

Plug-In Your Mac

In addition to Wi-Fi, you’d also need to have a continuous source of power supply to update your OS. After all, this is a massive upgrade, so the entire procedure can take a few hours. If you don’t have your Mac connected into AC power, it may shut down and disrupt the process.

Get Ready For The Macos Catalina Download

Downloading and installing the macOS update file takes up a lot of Mac resources. That’s why in later macOS versions, Apple recommends performing OS updates at night. The company’s dev team assumes that you’re fast asleep and not in front of your computer.

So, you should start the update process at night, a couple of hours before you head to bed. This way, you can let it complete the process with the least risk for interruptions.

Also, to help speed up the download as well as reduce the risks of disruptions, quit all non-essential apps. Just make sure that you still have your Firewall protection and anti-malware enabled.

Start The Process

If you’re running Mojave, click the Apple icon and then click System Preferences. Select the “Software Update” option to start the download. You can also open “About This Mac” and hit the “Software Update” selection from there.

If you’re using anything older than Mojave, you need to go to the App Store to get the OS update file. Locate and then click the “Updates” option in the App Store toolbar.

Once your Mac finishes the download, it should automatically launch the installer. You only need to click “Continue” and follow the installation tool’s directions. Once you reach the installation part, you can leave it be and head to bed.

Your Mac should already have the latest macOS version by the time you wake up.

Bonus Tip: Set Up Your Mac For Future Automatic Updates

Once you have macOS installed, the next thing to do is to learn how to update your Mac automatically. By automating this process, you can ensure that your device is always up-to-date and free of bugs. This also helps you keep your Apple computer safe from old and new malware types.

Update The Operating System Of Your Mac Now

There you have it, your ultimate guide on how to update the operating system of your Mac. The entire process will take time, but it’s a crucial task that can help protect your device from threats. At the very least, the latest macOS version will help boost your Mac’s performance and speed.

Ready for more techy tips and tricks to keep your devices running smoothly? Then please feel free to check out the rest of our guide on our blog!

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