Apple’s next Mac operating system, MacOS High Sierra, is here. As with past OS X and MacOS releases, MacOS High Sierra is a free update and available via the Mac App Store. Learn if your Mac is compatible with MacOS High Sierra and, if so, how to prepare it before downloading and installing the update.
The first thing to do as you prepare for MacOS High Sierra is to check if your Mac is compatible; not all Macs will be able to make the leap. If your Mac is from early 2009 or earlier, you’re out of luck. According to Apple, “all Macs introduced in mid 2010 or later are compatible. MacBook and iMac computers introduced in late 2009 are also compatible.”
Breaking it down, the Mac models compatible with High Sierra are:
- : late 2009 and later
- MacBook Air: mid 2010 and later
- MacBook Pro: mid 2010 and later
- : late 2009 and later
- Mac Mini: mid 2010 and later
- Mac Pro: mid 2010 and later
To check the vintage of your Mac, click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner and then click About This Mac. Under the OS listed at the top, you’ll see the year of your model next to its name.
Compared with an iPhone or iPad where space is tighter, it should be relatively easy to free up the needed space on your Mac to download MacOS High Sierra. Still, I recommend using any OS upgrade as an excuse to do a little housekeeping. Delete old apps or files you don’t need or move some folders and files to the cloud via iCloud Drive or your preferred cloud storage service.
Back it up
Before you perform a major operation like installing a new OS, you should always perform a system backup to protect your data. Should the installation go awry, you don’t want to lose important documents along with your photo and music libraries. Thankfully, Macs include a tool that make backups easy: Time Machine. Learn how to back up your Mac.
Download and install
MacOS High Sierra is available as a free update via the Mac App Store. To get it, open the Mac App Store and click the Updates tab. MacOS High Sierra should be listed at the top. Click the Update button to download the update.
If the update isn’t waiting for you in the App Store, search for “high sierra” and it should pop right up. Or try clicking the Apple icon in the top-left of your display, clicking About This Mac and then clicking the Software Update button, which will open the Mac App Store app and prompt it to check for the update. You can track the progress of your download on the Purchased tab of the Mac App Store.
After High Sierra finishes downloading, just follow the prompts of the installation wizard to install it.