Preparing Your Mac for macOS: Sierra

Preparing Your Mac for macOS: Sierra

Apple’s latest Mac Operating System: macOS Sierra was released late last month. It brings a suite of new features and behind-the-scenes improvements. However, upgrading to a new major operating system can bring some headaches while and after upgrading. Haven’t upgraded yet? I’ll give you some pointers to reduce the chances of things going hay-wire.

Checking Compatibility

The very first thing any computer user should do is check the list of supported computers that the operating system will run on, which Apple provides here. If your computer is not on the list, you can stop reading here. If your computer has made the list, the next best thing is to do a Google search. In the Google search you want to put the name, model, and year your computer was made (ex: MacBook Pro 13” – Mid 2015), and you want to search to see if there have been any major problems when upgrading on your model of computer. With older systems users should look to see if customers have been reporting sluggishness or draining of the battery (for laptops), or if there have been crashes to the whole computer. If you do find several reports of major issues, you might want to wait another couple of weeks. If everything looks ok, continue on.

Software Compatibility

With a major update to an operating system, not all software will work immediately. Some pieces of software need fix packs or updates to be compatible with the new operating system. BEFORE updating check and make sure ALL of the software you need on a daily basis is compatible with macOS Sierra. If you downloaded the application from the App store you can check in the updates section of the store. If the software is downloaded from the web like (VMware, 1Password, VirusBarrier, etc.) check the company’s website for compatibility. Users can also do a quick Google search to make sure everything went smoothly for users that have already upgraded.

Have a Good Back-Up

Finally, before you install any updates, create a good backup. I have written an article on having a good back up here. A decent option on Mac is Time Machine which is free and comes installed on your computer. You want a copy of all your files that are working, in case the update does not install correctly. For files where data loss is not an option, use a different USB flash drive, or upload photos and documents to services like Google Drive or Dropbox for an added layer of protection against data loss.

Installing a new operating system is a great way to get added security and new features. However, it can be a pain when things go off course. The next time you update or think about installing that new operating system, take the time to make a plan B in case something goes wrong.