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.
Download 1Password 7 for Mac. Requires macOS High Sierra 10.13 or later. Includes Safari extension. 1Password 6.8.9 for Mac. OS X El Capitan 10.11, OS X Yosemite.
Installing OS X has never been easier than it got in Yosemite, when the installers were moved to the App Store. And since then it’s just gotten easier, and easier. In this article, we’ll upgrade a Mac from OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) to macOS Sierra (10.12), the latest and greatest. In fact, three terms were used at different times with reference to Apple’s operating system: Mac OS X, OS X, and macOS. Mac OS X was the official naming through version 10.7, from 2001 to 2011. In the next four years, the OS X names were used. Finally, Apple shifted to “macOS” with the release of macOS High Sierra in 2016. Yup, you can, but you'll have to search for a link to the High Sierra download page since Apple removed the download pages for all versions of macOS prior to Mojave from the Mac App Store.
Learn how to upgrade to macOS Big Sur, the latest version of macOS.
If a macOS installer can't be used on your Mac, the installer will let you know. For example, it might say that it's too old to be opened on this version of macOS, or that your Mac doesn't have enough free storage space for the installation.
To confirm compatibility before downloading, check the minimum requirements for macOS Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, or Yosemite. You can also find compatibility information on the product-ID page for MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook, iMac, Mac mini, or Mac Pro.
Before installing, it’s a good idea to back up your Mac. Time Machine makes it simple, and other backup methods are also available. Learn how to back up your Mac.
It takes time to download and install macOS, so make sure that you're plugged into AC power and have a reliable internet connection.
Safari uses these links to find the old installers in the App Store. After downloading from the App Store, the installer opens automatically.
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.
Follow the onscreen instructions in the installer. It might be easiest to begin installation in the evening so that it can complete overnight, if needed.
If the installer asks for permission to install a helper tool, enter the administrator name and password that you use to log in to your Mac, then click Add Helper.
Please allow installation to complete without putting your Mac to sleep or closing its lid. Your Mac might restart, show a progress bar, or show a blank screen several times as it installs macOS and related firmware updates.
You might also be able to use macOS Recovery to reinstall the macOS you're using now, upgrade to the latest compatible macOS, or install the macOS that came with your Mac.
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.)
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.
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 Pro||MacBook Air||Mac mini|
|Mid 2010 or newer||Late 2010 or newer||Mid 2010 or newer|
|Mid 2010 or newer||Late 2009 or newer||Late 2009 or newer|
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.
These OS versions can upgrade to Sierra:
Here’s how to find out which OS version you’re running now:
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.
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.
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.
Another way to do it is via the Mac App Store.
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.
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.
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.