To get the latest features and maintain the security, stability, compatibility, and performance of your Mac, it's important to keep your software up to date. Apple recommends that you always use the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac.

Learn how to upgrade to macOS Big Sur, the latest version of macOS.

Macos

Use the Disk Utility option from the available list on the macOS Utilities window to do so. Otherwise, skip to the next step. Click on Reinstall macOS to install Catalina. Simply follow the process until the new OS, and the relevant patches are installed successfully. Now, you can enjoy the latest version of macOS on an older Mac. Applies To: macOS Big Sur, macOS Catalina, macOS Mojave, macOS High Sierra, macOS Sierra, or earlier Mac operating systems. The need to update or reinstall your macOS always follow the release of a new operating system, the slow performance of your Mac, or a system crash. My 2012 MacBook Pro supports macOS Catalina. I’m typing on one right now and it works very well. In fact it seems to be slight faster than it was on Mojave, sop your 2015 will be much faster that that so yes do the upgrade. Hackintosh Upgrade To Catalina From High Sierra. After installing macOS Big Sur, you will be notified when updates to macOS Big Sur are available. You can also use Software Update to check for updates: Choose Apple menu System Preferences, then click Software Update. Or get macOS Big Sur automatically. Upgrading from macOS Catalina 10.15 or Mojave 10.14? Go to Software Update in System Preferences to find macOS Big Sur. Click Upgrade Now and follow the onscreen instructions. Upgrading from an older version of macOS? If you’re running any release from macOS 10.13 to 10.9, you can upgrade to macOS Big Sur from the App Store.

Check compatibility

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The version of macOS that came with your Mac is the earliest version it can use. For example, if your Mac came with macOS Big Sur, it will not accept installation of macOS Catalina or earlier.

If a macOS can't be used on your Mac, the App Store or installer will let you know. For example, it might say that it's not compatible with this device or is too old to be opened on this version of macOS. To confirm compatibility before downloading, check the minimum hardware requirements:

  • macOS Catalina 10.15 hardware requirements
  • macOS Mojave 10.14 hardware requirements
  • macOS High Sierra 10.13 hardware requirements
  • macOS Sierra 10.12 hardware requirements
  • OS X El Capitan 10.11 hardware requirements
  • OS X Yosemite 10.10 hardware requirements

Download macOS using Safari on your Mac

Safari uses these links to find the old installers in the App Store. After downloading from the App Store, the installer opens automatically.

Macos High Sierra

  • macOS Catalina 10.15 can upgrade Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks
  • macOS Mojave 10.14 can upgrade High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion
  • macOS High Sierra 10.13 can upgrade Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion

Safari downloads the following older installers as a disk image named InstallOS.dmg or InstallMacOSX.dmg. Open the disk image, then open the .pkg installer inside the disk image. It installs an app named Install [Version Name]. Open that app from your Applications folder to begin installing the operating system.

Catalina
  • macOS Sierra 10.12 can upgrade El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, or Lion
  • OS X El Capitan 10.11 can upgrade Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion, or Snow Leopard
  • OS X Yosemite 10.10can upgrade Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion, or Snow Leopard

Apple released macOS Big Sur on Thursday. It’s a really nice upgrade, but I advise most people to not install it right away. Wait a few weeks or even a few months. But what if you missed upgrading to macOS Catalina, last year’s upgrade? Don’t worry, Apple still offers it for download, you just can’t search for it on the Mac App Store. Apple provides links to download many prior versions of macOS:

Just keep in mind, Apple only releases security patches for the most recent OS plus the two prior which means the following OSes are secure through:

Macos El Capitan

  • macOS 11Big Sur: 2023
  • macOS 10.15 Catalina: 2022
  • macOS 10.14 Mojave: 2021
  • macOS 10.13 High Sierra: 2020
  • macOS 10.12 Sierra: 2019
  • OS X 10.11 El Capitan: 2018
  • OS X 10.10 Yosemite: 2017

Further help

If you are an existing customer who needs help with this or if you have other questions, or if you are in San Francisco and interested in becoming a client I invite you to book an appointment with me. Otherwise, you may wish to contact Apple Support or to find a local Apple consultant.

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