At the end of the year, Apple will be launching macOS Monterey for Mac and, from what we have seen, it will be arriving with some interesting news. Surely if you’ve made it this far it’s because they interest you too and you’ll want to install it when it comes out.
Before that happens, we recommend that you do several things to prepare your Mac or MacBook for the update. These same tips will help you every time you want to install a new version of Apple’s operating system.
Following these recommendations will reduce the risk of problems during or after the upgrade.
How to prepare your Mac for an operating system update
We do not recommend installing a Software new immediately, that is, just as Apple releases it. Although the company is very strict in the process, there are often issues that arise during the first downloads.
And even if you can’t find one, Apple’s servers tend to get crowded, as many want the update right away and it can slow the process down a lot. We therefore recommend that you wait and prepare beforehand.
It’s important to do some checking before downloading a new version of the Mac operating system, here are the steps to prepare your computer before updating it to the latest version of macOS:
- Check for issues with the version of macOS in question.
- Check if your Mac (and your software) is compatible.
- Make sure you have enough space on your Mac (the beta version may weigh less than the official version).
- Make sure your Mac is in good condition.
- Back up your Mac.
- Make sure you are signed in to your iCloud.
- Make sure you are connected to a secure network.
- Update to the latest version of the version of macOS you currently have installed.
- Download the macOS installer you need.
- Install macOS on your Mac.
To learn more about the installer and process for installing a macOS update, see our article How to upgrade to Monterey from previous versions
Do I have to erase everything on my Mac?
You might be wondering if you should remove everything on your Mac before installing a major version of the operating system. In fact, some think it minimizes the problems and is a good way to start from scratch.
The truth is, there is no reason to do it, on the contrary, unless you are already having issues with your Mac and want to try and see if they are fixed that way.
If you prefer to opt for the first option, see our article How to do a fresh install of macOS.
Step 1. Check for issues with your version of macOS
Depending on the version of macOS you currently have installed, you can find the latest version of macOS by going to ‘System Preferences’> ‘Software Update’, or, in older versions, opening the Mac App Store to find the macOS version what do you need.
But before you start to download the Software, you will need to check if you really need to install it.
It makes sense to do a little research on which version of macOS you’re interested in to make sure there’s no reason not to install it.
For example, there may be users who complain about issues with their installation or that they have Bugs in the Software. Apple tends to fix vulnerabilities and issues in macOS updates quickly, but it’s always worth checking out.
You might be interested in the full list of Mac OS X and macOS versions.
Step 2. Check if your Mac (and software) is compatible
Related to the above, you need to verify that your Mac can actually run the version of macOS that you want to install, and that you can really take advantage of the new features that interest you the most.
If your Mac isn’t compatible with a version of macOS, it won’t appear in the “Software Update” section or in the Mac App Store. However, there are cases where it will, but your Mac won’t support the new features (or it will cause you to lose the ones you are currently using).
In this regard, Apple limits Big Sur to the latest Macs and so does Monterey. If you prefer, you can check out our articles on Big Sur Compatibility and Monterey Compatibility.
Step 3. Make sure you have enough space on your Mac
Apple recommends having 20 GB of free hard disk space on your Mac before installing a new version of maCOS, although you may not need it.
In general, we recommend that you always have 10% of the total space on your Mac, as this usually prevents problems.
When installing Big Sur, we realized it needed more space than ever. Although Big Sur initially took up 12.2 GB, our Mac asked us to have 35 GB of free space before installing it.
If you don’t have enough space, it’s time to follow our tips for freeing up space on a Mac. This usually happens when learning to delete content from the “Others” folder.
Step 4. Make sure your Mac is in good condition
You should make sure that your Mac is in a completely healthy state before installing an important system update.
Step 5. Make a backup of your Mac
Before installing a big update on your Mac, and especially if you are installing a beta version, you should back up your Mac.
Fortunately, Apple makes it easy to back up your Mac with Time Machine, so there’s no excuse not to do it before installing a new version of macOS.
For more information read How to backup a Mac in a few easy steps.
Step 6. Log into your iCloud account
iCloud is widely integrated with many Apple system applications and services. Make sure you are signed in to iCloud before starting the update so that everything goes smoothly.
Step 7. Make sure you are connected to a secure network
We recommend that you verify that you are connected to a trusted network, so avoid downloading Software in hotels, cafes or any other public network because someone could spy on you.
If you are going to download and install SoftwareWe recommend that you do this at home, at work or in your educational center, not connected to the network of a hotel or cafeteria.
Plus, it will surely download much faster. If you do this at home, you might be able to connect your Mac directly to the network and not rely on Wi-Fi speeds (meaning the process will be much slower).
For more information, see our Mac security tips and tricks.
Step 8. Update to the latest version of the current macOS
Before installing the latest version of macOS, download the latest update for the version of macOS you currently have installed. These little updates of Software they are released to improve eg stability.
Thus, there is always a possibility that you may encounter a problem updating to the new version of Mac operating system if you have not installed the update before this version.
You should also make sure that the latest version of external applications is installed. These updates may contain changes that are essential for updating to the latest version of macOS, and you may run into an issue otherwise.
To update applications purchased from the Mac App Store, open the App Store and click the “Updates” button on the toolbar. Then click “Update All” and enter your Apple ID and password when prompted.
For apps you purchased elsewhere, you will need to update them manually. You can check if there are any updates available from the app menu. In Microsoft Word, for example, you have to go to ‘Help’> ‘Check for updates’.
As we said before, it’s important to check the compatibility of third-party apps before updating macOS. This way you can start using it immediately and not realize that any of them have stopped working.
And now it’s time to update macOS.