The classic OS X 10.12, or rather macOS upgrade, introduced tons of features anyone would still want on their Mac. Why? Because, it's well-tested and secure. Now we'll take a quick look at the legendary macOS Sierra upgrade. (In case you want to upgrade your Mac to macOS 10.13 High Sierra, check out this guide.)

Puma 09 / 2001 – OS X 10.1. Just half a year later, Puma was released. Instead of delivering many new features, it focused on improving the system's performance. With Mac OS 10.1.2, Apple also started shipping OS X by default with new computers - and replaced OS 9 for good. Since the arrival of the Mac App Store in 2011 (as an update to Snow Leopard) versions of Mac OS X and macOS have been available to download via the Mac App Store. However, that changed slightly. (Apple did make one exception for OS X 10.6, which never had a code-name beyond Snow Leopard.) Though Apple's external code-names for OS X switched to California places in 2013, the internal code-names remained wine-based until 2014. In 2015, the development team switched to types of apples, with OS X 10.11 El Capitan (AKA 'Gala').

Some Mac users have also been unfortunate enough to experience an issue where the installer would fail to check how much space was available before installing the operating system update. To upgrade Mac OS X El Capitan to macOS Sierra 10.12, the latest updates from Apple.Inc, Download the macOS Sierra 10.12.1 latest version from Apple App Store. #1.Open Apple App Store then navigate to Featured tab. Find macOS Sierra from right sidebar on app store then click on. Finally, you’ll see the snapshot below and click Download.

Interestingly, it first brought Siri to your Mac. This is great news for everyone who’s already used to her help on iOS. Then, there’s Watch unlocking for Mac, there’s one-click Apple Pay, tabs in apps, and cross-device copypasting. Just to name a few.

So, if you were on the fence about upgrading to Sierra, and in fact, any newer OS, go right ahead. Your Mac deserves a refreshment.

LEARN MORE: macOS High Sierra 10.13 - The New Features That Matter

How to upgrade macOS: Sierra 10.12 compatibility list

As with the previous versions, macOS Sierra is available for a limited list of Mac models.
Here are the models of Macs that are compatible with macOS 10.12 and can upgrade to Sierra:

MacBook ProMacBook AirMac mini
Mid 2010 or newerLate 2010 or newerMid 2010 or newer
Mac Pro®MacBookiMac
Mid 2010 or newerLate 2009 or newerLate 2009 or newer

Does order matter when you upgrade macOS?

If your current operating system is OS X Lion (10.7), you can skip a few versions, and upgrade directly to macOS High Sierra. To upgrade to Sierra from, say, Mavericks, you’ll have to consequently upgrade to Yosemite and then to El Capitan first.

Check Your macOS for Sierra Compatibility

These OS versions can upgrade to Sierra:

  • OS X Mountain Lion v10.8 or Lion
  • OS X Mavericks v10.9
  • OS X Yosemite v10.10
  • OS X El Capitan v10.11

Here’s how to find out which OS version you’re running now:

  1. Click Apple icon in the top left corner.
  2. Choose About this Mac.
  3. There you have it, in capital letters.

Memory (RAM): 2 GB (preferably 4 GB)
Sierra is pretty lightweight, so you only need 2 GB of RAM to upgrade. Cool, eh?

Disk space: 8 GB of free space on drive.
In the same About this Mac menu select 'Storage' tab. In front of the multi-colored bar, you will see the phrase, 'X.XX GB free out of XX.XX GB.' If you don't have at least 8 GB of free space, you should delete some old files.

Before you update macOS, don’t forget to:

Clean up your Mac

This is essential if you want a fast and effortless update, and glitchless work of your new macOS. And it’s also pretty easy. To give your Mac a cleanup, you need to get rid of system junk, uninstall extra apps, and clean some old caches. If that sounds like a lot of work, you can get a Mac cleaner like CleanMyMac for the job.

How to update your Mac: Clean it up first

  1. Launch it.
  2. Hit Scan to find all the extra files you can delete.
  3. Press Run.

As you can see, I have 8.56 GB worth of caches, obsolete language files, broken downloads. You'll feel great getting rid of them.
That will give your Mac a basic system cleanup, but CleanMyMac is going to come in handy after the update as well. It monitors your Mac’s health, helps you speed up the system and remove unnecessary apps (Trashing doesn’t fully uninstall apps, by the way).

Back up your Mac

This is basic common sense before any Mac software update you’d like to undertake. Why? Well, because sometimes updates happen less smoothly than you’d like them to. To make sure you have all your information and files saved up neatly, you need a backup. To back up your Mac, you need to activate Time Machine.

  • Open your Applications folder.
  • Choose Time Machine.
  • 'Select Backup Disk…'
    Note: You may need to first choose to 'Set Up Time Machine.'
  • Choose where you'd like to store your backup.
  • Both an external drive or an Airport Time Capsule fit.
  • Switch the toggle on the left, from 'OFF' to 'ON.' Right beneath the name of your storage device, you'll see 'Oldest backup,' 'Latest backup,' and 'Next backup' — Your backup will begin within 5 minutes. To speed it up, click the arrow clock icon next to the Date & Time at the top-right of the menu bar and select 'Back Up Now.'

How to download macOS Sierra (or newer macOS) and install it

macOS Sierra is increasingly becoming a relic. Since 2020, the newest available macOS version is Big Sur. But it all comes down to hardware. Your Mac can only upgrade to the latest version its hardware can support. If your Mac is from around 2012 it can update as high up as to macOS Catalina. If your Mac is from 2010 or older, its limit is macOS High Sierra.

To download any new macOS and install it you’ll need to do the next:
1. Open System Preferences... in the  Apple menu.
2. Click on Software Updates.
On top of the list you'll see the latest macOS version your Mac can download. In our case, it's macOS Big Sur.

Mac os x updates in order

Another way to do it is via the Mac App Store.

  1. Open App Store.
  2. Click the Updates tab.
  3. You’ll see macOS updates available for your Mac.
  4. Click Update.

Wait for macOS download and installation. Your Mac will restart when it’s done.

Now you have a new OS.
For historic interest, this is how macOS Sierra looked back then when it was still available in the Mac App Store. Now, it can't be found there anymore.

Download macOS installers directly from Apple

For users of past operating systems Apple created a handy a list of macOS installers. They go as far back as to macOS Yosemite. The first 3 of them will open and start the update process automatically.

  • macOS High Sierra 10.13
    The 3 following installers will download macOS as a disk image (.dmg) After you unpack it, the macOS updater app will appear in your Applications.

We hope this guide has been of use, and don’t forget to clean up your Mac and back it up before you get the classic macOS! Cheers.

Each year, Apple makes improvements to macOS, the operating system (OS) you use on your Mac. The annual Apple Mac update cycle often brings iterative tweaks, but some years have major changes.

Your macOS operating system – or OS X, for older versions of macOS – can be updated each Fall, so long as Apple is still supporting your device. Here we’ll show you how to prepare your Mac for an update, the right way to update MacOS to the latest version of OS X or macOS, and some apps that make the process much smoother.

How to prepare your Mac for an OS update

Knowing how to update the latest Mac system is one thing – preparing your machine is equally important. To prepare your Mac for an upgrade, you’ll want to make sure your files are organized properly, all of your system settings are correct, and that your file system is backed up. It’s also important to know if your Mac is eligible for an update.

Simplify updates with Setapp

Setapp gives you a one-stop collection of apps for safe macOS updates: CleanMyMac X, Disk Drill, and Get Backup Pro.


Check the General Requirements (and Hardware)

To see what specs your Mac has, follow these steps:

  1. From the menu bar on your Mac, select the Apple icon on the top left
  2. Select “About This Mac” from the drop down menu

This will tell you what year your Mac was made, the version of macOS or OS X you’re currently on, the computer’s RAM (Memory), processor, and which graphics card your Mac has. These are important to know, as upgrading to the latest version of macOS – macOS 11 Big Sur – requires the following:

  • macOS 10.10 or later
  • 4GB RAM (Memory)
  • 15-20GB of available storage.
Note: To see how much available storage space you have, follow the two step process above, then “Storage” tab at the top of the window.

When you want to upgrade MacOS, keep in mind the latest version of macOS is only available for these models:

  • MacBook (Early 2015 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2012 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Late 2012 or newer)
  • iMac (Late 2012 or newer)
  • iMac Pro (2017)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013 or newer)
Order

Back up your Mac

When it’s time to back your Mac up, Apple has an official method dubbed Time Machine. When you use Time Machine, it keeps what’s called an “image” of your Mac, which is what a backup really is. When you backup your Mac, you’re making a compressed version of your entire operating system.

Learn more about time machine backup.

The purpose of creating a backup is most often to have a recent save point you can reboot from. It’s important to do as often as possible.

Here’s how to create a backup of your Mac using Time Machine:

Upgrades

Mac Os Upgrades In Order Fortnite

  1. Connect an external drive. This is where your backup will be stored.
  2. From your Mac menu bar, go to Apple > System Preferences > Time Machine
  3. Click “Select Disk”
  4. Select the external drive you connected to your Mac
  5. Select “Use Disk” in the new popup window

There’s a much better way to backup your Mac, though: Get Backup Pro.

Get Backup Pro makes backing up your Mac simple, and you remain in total control. One issue many have with Time Machine is it often starts backing up during the day, which consumes resources on your Mac, and things you're working on may not save in your backup. Get Backup Pro lets you back your Mac up to any device you like, and you can set the schedule you want for backing your Mac up. You can even choose how many backups you want to keep; Time Machine doesn’t allow such customizations!

Make sure you have sufficient space for macOS Update

Apple recommends you have a minimum of 4GB RAM, or Memory, and 12.5GB available storage when upgrading your Mac. (It’s also wise to have a strong internet connection, as the download can take quite a bit of time!)

Here’s how to check your system to see if your Mac is eligible for an Apple OS update:

  1. From the menu bar on your Mac, select the Apple icon on the top left
  2. Select “About This Mac” from the drop down menu – this shows you how much Memory (RAM) you have
  3. Select the “Storage” tab
  4. Under “Macintosh HD,” ensure you have at least 12.5GB storage available

Get Backup Pro to keep files safe

Before updating macOS, create a backup with Get Backup Pro. Unlike Time Machine, it lets you backup only essential stuff.

Clean Your Mac

When you think “how do i update my mac operating system?,” you should also be thinking about how to prepare your Mac for the update. Remember that if you need to boot your Mac from a backup, it will load exactly what you have on your Mac at the time of the update. Now is a great time to delete apps, re-organize your files, and make sure your settings are optimized.

There’s just no better app for this than CleanMyMac X. It leaves your Mac running in peak condition, and like Get Backup Pro, it can be set to alert you on a schedule that it’s time to clean up your Mac. All you have to do is open CleanMyMac X on your Mac, select the “Smart Scan” module, and the app scans your system and cleans up unnecessary files, scans for malware, and ensures your settings are set to keep your Mac running as fast as possible by doing things like freeing up RAM and running maintenance scripts.

If you want to really dial your Mac in, CleanMyMac X has a module for uninstalling apps, which also removes their associated files. You can also run the “Maintenance” module to take the Smart Scan feature a step further with a more detailed scrubbing of your Mac.


How to update a Mac

You may be wondering “how do I upgrade my Mac operating system?” Now that we’ve told you how to backup your Mac and optimize it, here’s how you update your Mac:

  1. From the menu bar on your Mac, select the Apple icon on the top left
  2. Select “Software Update”

That’s all you need to do! Your Mac will tell you if there’s an upgrade available for you. Next time you’re thinking “how do i upgrade my operating system on my Mac?,” remember this two-step process.

Mac Os Upgrades In Order

How to turn on automatic updates

You can trigger your Mac to update automatically – but first, a word of caution. Many set their Mac to update automatically so they don’t ask themselves “how do i update mac os?” every few months. It’s typically fine to have your Mac update automatically, but there have been some features that break old apps in newer macOS builds. We would caution you to consider your needs; if you can’t risk apps not working or perhaps files being shifted around, we would advise against automatic updates.

Mac Os Versions

But for most, it’s fine to automatically upgrade your Mac. Here’s how:

  1. From the menu bar on your Mac, select the Apple icon on the top left
  2. Select “Software Update”
  3. Select “Advanced”
  4. Make sure all boxes are checked

Note: for a Mac to automatically update, it must be connected to power.

Keep in mind you have a bit of control here, too. You can choose to have your Mac check for updates automatically, but not download them. This is a smart choice for those who want a bit more control over when their Mac updates, and we prefer this option as it allows you to run CleanMyMac X before a backup with Get Backup Pro. Backing up before an update is always a smart move.

How Can I Update Drivers on Apple OS?

Drivers are what allow your Mac to communicate with peripherals like graphics cards, speakers, or printers. You can’t directly update drivers on a Mac; your best bet is to update your operating system, which has all the necessary drivers.

If you’re using a specific app to communicate with peripherals, like an app for a printer, updating the app itself may install new drivers.

Mac Won’t Update?

If your Mac simply won’t update, it’s likely a hardware issue. As we noted, you’ll need 4GB RAM and 12.5GB storage to update your Mac. If you don’t have at least that, you will be unable to run the latest version of macOS.

Your Mac may also be too old. Though the system requirements help avoid this, Apple only supports older machines for a certain amount of time; this is often because other specs, like graphics cards, are no longer adequate for newer versions of macOS.

It’s also possible the update was interrupted; this is why we advise you have a strong internet connection before updating your Mac. These are core issues with a Mac which won’t update. If you’re experiencing issues, get hold of Apple for support.

Conclusion

Mac Upgrades In Order

New versions of macOS are exciting for Mac enthusiasts, but don’t rush to download them. Always make sure you’ve cleaned your Mac using CleanMyMac X, and back your machine up with Get Backup Pro. Another great app to download is Disk Drill, which can help you recover files you thought were lost.

All three apps are available for free as part of a seven day trial of Setapp, a robust suite of productivity apps for your Mac. Alongside Disk Drill, GEt Backup Pro, and CleanMyMac X, you’ll get unlimited access to the full Setapp library of nearly 200 excellent Mac apps.

Os Upgrades In Order

When the trial ends, Setapp is only $9.99 per month to retain unlimited access to the full suite of apps. For families, Setapp’s $19.99 monthly plan allows full access to Setapp on up to four unique Macs. An incredible deal – give Setapp a try today!

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Mac Os X Updates In Order