OS X El Capitan has arrived and there are a few things you should know: The first, what are the installation requirements? And the second, how can you prepare your Mac for OS X El Capitan?

  1. Upgrade From El Capitan To Sierra
  2. Upgrade From El Capitan To Sierra
  3. Upgrade From El Capitan To Mojave

Said that, after some search, I found this macworld article showing alternative methods to upgrade from 10.5.8 MacOSX version to a more recent one. This reading brought me to another solution: Alternative solution. Use a Mac of a friend of mine which runs El Capitan to download El Capitan from Mac App Store; create a bootable usb stick from it. 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. MacOS Sierra 10.12 can upgrade El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, or Lion. If you’re running any release from macOS 10.13 to 10.9, you can upgrade to macOS Big Sur from the App Store. If you’re running Mountain Lion 10.8, you will need to upgrade to El Capitan 10.11 first. If you don’t have broadband access, you can upgrade your Mac at any Apple Store. Learn more about how to upgrade. This update is recommended for all OS X El Capitan users. The OS X El Capitan v10.11.6 Update improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac, and is recommended for all users. This update: Resolves an issue that may prevent settings from being saved in accounts with parental controls enabled.

Which Mac models can upgrade to OS X El Capitan?

These ones:

iMacMacBook ProMacBook Air
Mid-2007 or newer13-inch, Mid 2009 or newer; 15-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or newer; 17-inch, Late 2007 or newerLate 2008 or newer
MacBookMac Pro®Mac mini
Early 2015Early 2008 or newerEarly 2009 or newer
Early 2009Late 2008 Aluminum,
Early 2009 or newer
Upgrade From El Capitan

Version, Memory, and Space Requirements for El Capitan

OS X Version: Mountain Lion (10.8), most models. Mavericks (10.9) or higher — all models.

How to check it:

  1. Click the Apple icon at the top left of your screen.
  2. Select 'About This Mac.'

Upgrade From El Capitan To Sierra

The number underneath 'OS X' is your version number.
If you're running a version of OS X older than 10.8, look into upgrading your OS X. Also, Apple notes that Metal is only available on 'all Macs since 2012'.

RAM: 4 GB (preferably 8 GB)

In the same menu you have the 'Memory' tab. If you have less than 4 GB RAM, you'll have to look into upgrading your RAM.

Disk Space: 15 GB to 20 GB of free space on drive

Next to 'Memory,' 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 15 GB of free space, look into cleaning your Mac with cleanup tool, like CleanMyMac 3.

1 Clean Up Your Mac

A fresh OS X needs a fresh Mac. So to begin with, let's take a look at cleaning up a few things. The easiest (and fastest) way to get yourself a cleaner Mac is by running a scan with CleanMyMac 3. It cleans out:

  • System junk
  • Unused apps
  • Large & old files
  • Browser caches
  • iTunes broken downloads
  • Unnecessary extensions
  • Old iOS updates
  • User caches & logs
  • Copies of Mail attachments

Besides cleaning, it speeds up your Mac with maintenance scripts and keeps hardware safe with Health Monitors. Get CleanMyMac 3 now and run a scan to see how much junk you can clean up.

If you have OS X version 10.8, download the previous version, CleanMyMac Classic.

2 Back Up Your Mac

And now that your Mac is clean, you should definitely back it up. Why? You never know what will happen when upgrading your operating system. Plus, it's just good practice to back it up every so often, you know, just in case.

  1. Go to your Applications folder.
  2. Select Time Machine.
  3. 'Select Backup Disk…'
    Note: You may need to first choose to 'Set Up Time Machine.'
  4. Choose where you'd like to store your backup.
  5. An external drive or an Airport Time Capsule is good.
  1. Change the switch, located on the left, from 'OFF' to 'ON.'
  2. To the right, under the name of the storage device, you'll see 'Oldest backup,' 'Latest backup,' and 'Next backup' — Your backup should begin in 5 minutes. If you don't feel like waiting, click the arrow clock icon next to the Date & Time at the top-right of the menu bar and select 'Back Up Now.'

We hope this guide has helped you. Try these mentioned steps and enjoy your quick Mac with OS X El Capitan on it. In any case - start with CleanMyMac 3 to be ready for El Capitan.

Upgrade from el capitan to big sur

Many people remember Mac OS X 10.6.8 fondly. Not just 10.6 Snow Leopard, but particularly its very mature 10.6.8 release, the final one in that series. It’s considered a stable and perfectly fine version. It’s not a problem—until they want to mitgrate to a newer computer with the same files, preferences, users, and other elements as their current one. That’s particularly true when they want to keep their system and essentially brain transplant it to the latest two updates, macOS Catalina and Big Sur, and find there’s no direct path.

Apple offers Migration Assistant both when setting up a Mac (whether new or erased) and as an app within macOS, particularly to migrate user accounts and applications. As a source, you can use a Time Machine backup, a disk image copy of your macOS startup volume (via a cloning app, for instance), or another Mac.

But Migration Assistant has its limits: in Catalina and Big Sur, you must migrate from a backup made from or a computer running Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan or later. Attempts to copy from older installations lead to an error.

However, you’re not stuck. You have several alternatives you can try.

Upgrade past 10.6.8

Upgrade from el capitan to big sur

It may seem like a pain, but if you have a computer that can be upgraded to 10.11 El Capitan or later, that’s your best bet. This list of models from One World Computing will help you figure out if your Mac can be upgraded that far. It covers years of Mac releases. (No Macs that can run Snow Leopard can be upgraded to Catalina or Big Sur, which would solve the problem, too.)

Apple has instructions on installing a terminal release of Mac OS X or macOS for its old computers.

Once upgraded to El Capitan or later, you can then run Migration Assistant to transfer data to Catalina or Big Sur.


If your computer’s last OS option isn’t El Capitan, read on.

Copy just the user directory

When spanning such a long gap between releases, you may not need applications or any settings files—you just want to transfer all your document, pictures, and other personal files. In that case, you can use these directions in a Mac 911 column from last year. While that article was written to help you overcome a Migration Assistant failure, it also works when Migration Assistant can’t.

Each of the techniques in that article lets you move the files you need over to a new Mac. The options vary by what your older system is capable of and the level of technical detail you want to cope with.

Install an older Mac OS on an external drive for migration

If the Mac you’re upgrading to (not from) is in the right range of vintages, you can do the following:

  1. Install Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan on an external drive. (Download El Capitan from Apple’s site.) El Capitan seems to be the last release that can migrate files from Snow Leopard.
  2. Use the Startup Disk preference pane to select that external drive and restart.
  3. Use Migration Assistant during setup or after setting up on the external drive to transfer data from your Snow Leopard Mac.
  4. Use Startup Disk to restart with your newer Mac’s intended startup volume.
  5. Now run Migration Assistant pointing to the external drive.

If you don’t own a Mac that can install El Capitan, you might be able to borrow such a machine from someone and use the same external drive approach that won’t affect the startup drive of their system.

This Mac 911 article is in response to a question submitted by Macworld reader Balthasar.

Upgrade From El Capitan To Sierra

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Upgrade From El Capitan To Mojave

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