You can read all about the latest version of MacOS, along with details of the latest point updates and any known issues, here: macOS Catalina latest news , and macOS Mojave latest news. We also have a similar guide to High Sierra.
If you choose to wait and download a version of macOS some months after the launch - or if you're looking at updating your Mac to an older version of macOS - note that the version you will download from the Mac App Store or using Software Update will be an older version than the latest update. You should therefore expect to have to update the operating system again once you have installed it, but this should happen automatically. This is because Apple will continue to release updates to the operating system throughout the year, either to address vulnerabilities and fix problems, but sometimes to add new features, such as new emoji.
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Then during the months from June to September the company will issue beta versions of the next version of the operating system software. Some people will be able to test the beta out on their Macs.
If it's Catalina you want to install, here's a list of Macs that are supported: Can my Mac run Catalina? You may be concerned that you have some software that you need to use that may not work in the new operating system - the apps in Microsoft Office won't work, for example! Apple suggests that you should have 20GB of free space on your Mac's drive before you install a new version of macOS - although you may not need that much.
The Yosemite installer was 5. If space is looking tight, we've got an article about freeing up space on your Mac. You should also make sure that your Mac is completely healthy before installing a big update to the system. If Disk Utility finds problems, you'll need to boot from a different volume to perform the actual repairs using the Repair Disk button. Both tests check your Mac for other hardware issues, such as bad RAM.
Read more about using Disk Utility to fix a Mac. Before you perform any big update to your Mac - and especially if you are installing a beta - you should back up your Mac and do some other housekeeping tasks which we will address below. Luckily, Apple makes it easy to back up your Mac using Time Machine, so there is no excuse not to create a Time Machine backup before installing a new version of macOS. We have this article about how to back up your Mac using Time Machine.
Make sure you're logged into iCloud before you start updating and things should go smoothly. We advise that you make sure you are on a trusted network - so avoid downloading software in hotels and cafes or any public networks because you don't know what might lurk there. If you're downloading and installing software we advise that you do so at home, at work, or at your place of education, not on a hotel or cafe network. You will probably find the download is much faster - and downloading at home or could mean you can plug your Mac into the network rather than rely on a wireless download speed which could mean that the download takes a lot longer!
To find out how to keep your Mac safe from security vulnerabilities read: How to stop your iPhone, iPad or Mac getting hacked and our Mac security tips. Before you upgrade to the new version of MacOS, make sure you install the latest updates to the version of macOS that you're currently running. From time to time there will be software updates to improve stability, for example, and there is always a chance that you may have a problem updating to the new version of the Mac operating system if you hadn't pre-installed this essential update to the previous version, so do your homework first.
How to install macOS Catalina on your Mac
How you update will depend on the version of MacOS you are currently running. If you've got Mojave installed you will get system software updates via Software Update, which you will find in System Preferences, or by clicking on the Apple logo in the menu and clicking on Software Update. You should also make sure you have updated any third party apps too. Those updates may include changes that are required for upgrading to the latest macOS and if you don't run the updates they may not work properly once you have updated.
macOS Catalina features and installation guide
To update apps you've bought from the Mac App Store, launch the App Store app and click the Updates button in the toolbar. For apps that you purchased elsewhere, you'll need to manually install updates. Check compatibility with your third-party apps before updating the macOS. That way you will be up and running immediately, rather than being frustrated by your favourite apps and add-ons not working. When Catalina launches officially it's likely that those who have Mojave installed will see an alert to install Catalina via Software Update. Just search for Catalina, or the version of macOS you require.
If you are still running Leopard and don't have access to the Mac App Store you really really really need to upgrade! Luckily you can still get hold of a copy of Snow Leopard from Apple. Try a different Ethernet cable, ports, and combinations of the two. Try moving your backup destination farther from your modem. Move your Mac closer to the TC, Airport, or router. Note that Airport Extremes and Time Capsules broadcast mostly up and out, so be sure it's not higher than your Mac. Look for interference with another wireless device, cordless phone, microwave oven, etc.
Try different WIFI channels. At least temporarily, de-select Put the hard disk s to sleep Not all external drives respond to that setting, though. Be sure all connections are snug and secure. Try different port s , cable s , and combinations of them a plug that works fine in one port may not make good contact in another.
See if your drive has an automatic sleep or "spin down" feature you can disable. Check the maker's web site for any driver or firmware updates. See Troubleshooting item D8 for details. A very few folks have reported that starting in Safe Mode , then rebooting normally, helps the next backup may be quite slow, but then speeds return to normal.
Something in your installation of OSX may be damaged. If that doesn't help, you might try installing a fresh copy of OSX, per the same article. If nothing helps, your drive may be failing they all do, sooner or later. If you're running Lion, and haven't installed the Especially if you're on Lion Usually, Repairing your backups per section A5 will fix it, but not always. If not, you may need to delete it. First, download the Tinker Tool app, per section A3.
Follow the instructions there to show invisible files as noted there, reverse the procedure when done. At the top level you'll find a folder named. Delete it you'll have to enter your Admin password , and empty the trash which may take quite a while. Do not touch anything else.
Run a backup.
What to Do When Time Machine Is Stuck on "Preparing Backup"
The first one will take quite a while, as the index must be recreated and the backups indexed, but thereafter backups should run normally. This may take a while, so connect via Ethernet if at all possible. It will be times faster than via WIFI. Via the Finder, locate the sparse bundle, and double-click it to mount the disk image inside it.
Double-click it to open it. Inside it you'll find a folder named. Delete it you'll have to enter your Admin password and empty the trash which may take quite a while. Eject the disk image and run a backup.
The first one will take quite a while, as the index must be recreated and the backups indexed, so remain connected via Ethernet if at all possible. Thereafter backups should run normally. The first question is, "How slow is slow?
How to create a bootable installer
Several things can cause slow backups. Start by determining what "phase" of the backup is slow or seems hung. Click the Time Machine icon in your menubar, or look below the progress bar on the Time Machine Preferences window, and see what message is shown:. See the yellow box below. See the blue box below.
See the tan box below. Some things are handled a bit differently on different versions of OSX. If you're not sure what version your Mac is running, click here. Finishing Backup or Cleaning Up.