Is Your Mac Still Running OS X Lion? Why? You Should Upgrade to OS X Mavericks

Feb 18, 2014 - 117 Comments

Running old version of OS X? You should upgrade to Mavericks

It’s fairly common for computer users to delay updating to major operating system releases, and though Mac owners tend to be a bit better at upgrading than Windows users, many are still running old versions of OS X. For some users there are good reasons for this, maybe lingering on outdated OS X versions like Snow Leopard because of compatibility issues with a specific app, or because they just really like it. But then there are other users who have already made the leap beyond Snow Leopard, and are sitting on OS X Lion or OS X Mountain Lion, procrastinating and putting off the OS X Mavericks update for no good reason. This article is aimed at the procrastinators (and there’s a surprisingly large amount of them – nearly 17% of Mac users are on Lion and another 20% on Mountain Lion), particularly individuals with Macs still running OS X Lion, in any version from 10.7 through 10.7.5.

A quick reminder… OS X Mavericks is free from the App Store and simple to install. The entire process is usually completed in an hour or so for a simple upgrade, or you can clean install if that’s your preference too.

Notes: Many readers have responded in the comments with their personal experiences from OS X Lion, Mountain Lion, and OS X Mavericks. If you’re on the fence about upgrading, it’s worth a read to see some of the additional pros and cons of updating to Mavericks. Keep in mind that OS X 10.9.2 update fixes many problems that are reported here in the comments.

Running OS X Lion? You should upgrade now

Let’s just say it; OS X Lion was a mess of an operating system. Between the crashes, the crazy unpredictable auto-saving behavior, the aggressive file locking and forced file duplication, and the removal of simple yet core functionality and features like Save As, many Lion users were annoyed to say the least. The good news? All of those issues were mostly fixed with OS X Mountain Lion, and has been reiterated on further with OS X Mavericks. Things are better now, so if the holdup has been fear of making things worse, it’s unfounded.

At this point if you’re still running OS X Lion without a truly compelling reason (and I’m not even sure what one is since Mavericks system compatibility is generally the same), you’re subjecting yourself to unnecessarily frustrating experiences that have since been ironed out in newer releases of OS X. If you’re still running OS X Lion, ask yourself why? Do you have a amazingly great reason? If not, you should upgrade. No Mavericks is not perfect, but it’s much better than Lion. Do your Mac a favor; backup and upgrade.

Upgrade OS X Lion to OS X Mavericks

Running OS X Mountain Lion? Upgrading still recommended

Mountain Lion is stable and fairly refined, resolving most of the complaints users had with Lion. If you’re happy 10.8 and have no usage for the few new features and tricks in Mavericks, stay put if you want, but upgrading is still recommended, particularly for Mac laptop owners, who almost all universally experience some nice battery life gains thanks to the energy efficient featured introduced in Mavericks.

Because OS X Mountain Lion is stable and pretty decent, there is much less urgency with upgrading to Mavericks, but you probably should anyway. Beyond the general improvements and new features available, it’s also just good practice to keep your Mac software up to date, both for individual apps and for the core OS. Get in the habit of updating, your computer will thank you for it.

Before Updating: Back up the Mac!

Though you should take a series of steps before upgrading to Mavericks, if you do nothing else – back up the Mac with Time Machine. Do a complete back up, start one manually right before starting the upgrade process so that you’ll be sure to have the most recent backup handy.

This is important because you can roll back if needed, or can recover your files if something goes wrong. Never initiate a major operating system upgrade without doing a full system backup first.

What if I upgrade but hate OS X Mavericks?

In the unlikely scenario that you upgrade OS X to Mavericks and decide you hate it, you can always downgrade to the previous version you had easily, assuming you made a backup with Time Machine before the update. Always backup first.

Or you can just wait 6-10 months or so for the next version of OS X to come out – not much is known about it yet, but Apple is on a yearly release schedule for major system updates, meaning you won’t have to wait terribly long before finding the latest version available to you, and, like Mavericks, it’ll probably be free too.

So what are you waiting for? Back up your Mac, and get OS X Mavericks free from the App store.

Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:

Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

117 Comments

» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Honest Abe says:

    I upgraded to Mavericks and I’ll stay put because downgrading is silly, but I really do think that Mountain Lion was faster and more stable. Mavericks has a bit of “Lion-syndrome” in that it introduced unnecessary changes that broke things for no good reason. Lion was an epic mess that Apple should never have released, while Mavericks is a slight mess that badly needs the 10.9.2 update ASAP. Mountain Lion is hard to find much to complain about.

    Biggest example? Mail app. If you use Mail app – DO NOT UPGRADE TO MAVERICKS! Mail has turned into an unreliable nightmare, basically unusable. I can’t say this enough. None of the patches or fixes have resolved the problems. Apple is twiddling their thumbs while Mail users are outraged, just take a peak at their forums, or talk to anyone who, once upon a time, used Mail as their reliable email client.

    Also Mavericks has weird Finder slowness, weird stalling of apps (probably the App Nap feature), and occasional network issues. None of this makes any sense and has any obvious cause or resolution.

    My 2 cents? If you’re on Lion, find a way to get to Mountain Lion. If you’re on Mountain Lion, stay put. If you’re on Mavericks, hold tight for OS X 10.9.2 and pray with the rest of us for Apple to fix Mail app and Finder app. Developer friends tell me that 10.9.2 betas fix the problems… but it needs to get out in the open for millions of users to determine that since apparently Apple can’t be bothered to reliably QA anything before releasing it (cough, Lion, cough, iOS 7, cough).

    • Bob Forsberg says:

      My experiences exactly and great recommendations. However, reality is MacOS takes backseat to IOS as does Mac hardware to the i-devices, today.

      I used all versions of AppleWorks/ClarisWorks (DR) Drawing docs for my small business (20 people and 15 Macs) that are now obsolete on newer MacOS’ and machines. I can live with that, but incompetence building new MACOS’ is self destructive to Apple’s future in this highly competitive market.

      • Smarter Than The Rest says:

        Hi, y’all,

        This site is a testament that one can never please everyone all the time. The Mac absolutely rocks! Anyone complaining is simply a complainer and will NEVER be satisfied.

        Don’t bother responding to this comment. I shan’t be back but, please, for the love of all things sacred, quit your bitching.

    • Dan Andersen says:

      My Late 2012 iMac running 10.9.1 has experienced none of the problems you mention. In fact, it has no apparent system issues at all.

    • Roger Colonnese says:

      I have to support Honest Abe and Forsberg. If you depend on the mail app to manage multiple addresses and store important streams of conversation do not upgrade to Maverick. I see no other advantage over Mountain Lion that is worth the aggravation of delayed and lost mail plus inexplicable behavior in archive and draft folders. I got to know a supervisor at Apple support very well over the first 2 weeks after the upgrade and that is not what I want from a new operating system. It’s better but it’s not fixed.

      • ezfe says:

        I’m using iCloud (@me.com) and Gmail (Google Apps) with Mail.app in Mavericks and I’m having no issues. I’ve been using Mail.app since Lion.

      • Doctor X says:

        Absolute bloat-ware. Renders Mail unusable. Everything is slower and hangs.

        Goodbye, again, to this mess. Will try again in a year. Since I last tried it . . . two programs actually now function with it.

    • n1000 says:

      Spent an entire weekend doing 10.8 > 10.9 > 10.8

      Mail is a still in beta! It lost a large number of my emails somewhere.

    • Reinaldo says:

      This is the dumbest article I have ever read.

      I run Lion since I switched over from Windows 7.

      I have no crashes, no bugs, no issues – whatsoever.

      Why then, should I upgrade to a system – that has compatibility issues, if you say it doesn´t it is a lie: Just do a quick google search: “Mavericks problems”.

      Oh, so you put tab like windows in finder. Hurray? I already had that thanks to 3rd party software.

      The fact that Apple developers are so closed into their Mac mind-frame, instead of worrying about the praticality of it all(using solutions from other OS´s) – is reason enough not to use Mavericks.

      Apple is going to continue losing costumers if it continues with this mindframe of “everything Apple has to connect to another Apple”.

      I stopped using the iPhone because it stopped evolving since the iPhone 4. I now use Android devices because of the freedom of compatibility.

      This is not my 2 cents .. This is my thousands of dollars I save by not buying Retina Macbooks with soldered on memory and harddrives. I still have my Macbook Pro from 2012 with 2 ssd´s totalling 1.75 gb – something a Retina can never offer me..

      Also have a Macbook from 2010 with a new ssd and I see no reason in upgrading to these new un-upgradeable mac devices.

      THIS COMPANY IS GOING TO FAIL AND I HOPE IT DOES FOR CONTINUING TO BLOCK IT´S USERS FROM DOING PRATICAL OPERATIONS.

  2. ryan says:

    Compared to Lion, Mavericks is a dream. Maybe that’s just a way to point out just how bad Lion was, making it easily the worst version of OS X to ever exist IMO, because Mavericks isn’t great by any means. Mail is a running joke.

    Personally I would say *wait* until Mavericks 10.9.2 is public, it’s maybe a few weeks away. I think it will fix most of the complaints anyone has about Mavericks.

    I’m not too excited about 10.10, rumors say it will get beat by the Jony Ive ugly stick.

  3. dave val says:

    What about the “wonderful” Parallels software for running Windows on a Mac.
    They want £35.00 to upgrade or it won’t run on Mavericks.
    I’m sticking with Mountain Lion.

    • That’s not the case. After upgrading to Mavericks, I found that the existing installation of Parallels would not run. I simply reinstalled (still having the DMG) and it was fine. The new release of Parallels is designed to take advantage of the new OS, that’s all; but the old one still works OK on Mavericks.

      Mountain Lion was a good stable release, as was Snow Leopard. I don’t regret moving to Mavericks, though you may as well wait for 10.9.2 which is due soon and which by all accounts fixes some issues.

      • Bob Pale says:

        I solved the Mail problem years ago, as I always had trouble getting it to work with the ISP I was using at that time.

        In a word, Thunderbird.

  4. Bernard says:

    Hopefully 10.9.2 will reintroduce the simple double click to open a folder in a new window that was made awkwardly complex to those of us who have used the Mac for years.

    • Dan Andersen says:

      Same as it ever was—just option-double-click.

      • Bernard says:

        No, there was an option to just double-click, That’s gone and many people miss it. No apparent good reason to remove it except that it makes OSX more iOS like.

        Basically it makes a simple action more complex.

  5. MickM says:

    Agreed that Lion was a mess. Mavericks is a different kind of mess. There’s simply no doubting the evidence anymore that Apple’s quality control has nose-dived right into the toilet. At least with Lion my Mac Mini home theater worked without video glitches, my Exchange email at work wasn’t broken, and my DisplayLink connected monitors worked properly. With Mavericks I’m feeling like I got what I paid for. Apple just need to take a step backwards and make Snow Mavericks :-/.

    • MickM says:

      Drats – I can’t seem to edit my post. I was referring to Mountain Lion, not Lion, when I spoke of the stuff that worked.

    • Eithanius says:

      Perhaps that explains why OSXDaily only made an article encouraging Lion users to upgrade, and NOT targeting Snow Leopard users… I guess anything beyond SL is practically a DOWNGRADE…!

      • Paul says:

        Mac OS X Snow Leopard is consistent and very stable, if it’s working for you, has apps that are compatible only with 10.6, and you don’t need the new features from OS X Mavericks, it’s OK to stay put. Snow Leopard is a 5+ year old operating system though, and over time you’ll continuously miss out on features and innovations in new releases. Eventually, an upgrade will be inevitable.

  6. miguel says:

    with lion my macbook pro mid 2009 was always slow and burn like hell all the time, now i dont have this problems, but maverics has some littles bugs..minimals bugs

  7. David says:

    I think you’re all forgetting that some people are still using older Macs that can’t run anything newer than Lion. The only way for them to run Mtn. Lion or Mavericks is to buy a new Mac. That’s hardly a free upgrade.
    Having said that nobody should be running Lion. Old Macs should have Snow Leopard and newer hardware should have a newer OS.
    I have one Mac running Mavericks and one running Mtn. Lion. Most of the time I don’t notice any difference between the two. I do notice that my Mavericks Mac often fails to load web pages in the background. I tend to load a lot of tabs at once by clicking links in my 3rd party Twitter app and I’ve not seen Safari successfully load them all in the background since I upgraded to Mavericks. I blame the energy efficiency stuff that gives almost no CPU time to background processes.

    • SixnaHalfFeet says:

      David correctly points out that folks with older macs are limited to Lion. This is the case with me. I have a 2006 iMac that still functions great, runs Lion, but cannot upgrade to Mavericks.

      David incorrectly advises folks to stay on Snow Leopard instead of going to Lion if you are using an old machine. While I agree that Snow Leopard is quicker, more stable, and smoother than Lion on my old iMac. What Lion offers me is iCloud access. Which I use religiously. When I take pictures with my iPhone, they go to iCloud, then are automatically added to my photo library on my iMac. This is not possible with Snow Leopard.

      • McD says:

        And if you don’t (want to) use iCloud?

      • Doug says:

        I have two older Macs that can’t go past Lion, that work perfectly fine on Snow Leopard. Lion is such a mess on both of them, that I everything grinds to a slow quagmire with any uptime more than 36hours, requiring constant reboots.

        I do wish I could run software that is newer, but Apple is making Lion the minimum target for compiling any project in their developer tools now, so just about anything on the App Store is useless for these older Macs. :-(

      • Johnny says:

        I believe there are quite a few celebrities who regret that their iPhone pictures went straight to iCloud, and from there out for the public to see….. oops.

    • Hammer says:

      Yep. Mac Pro 1,1 and no money to upgrade.

      • DG says:

        You may not need to. Google the terms Tiamo & macrumors. I had a 1,1 running 10.9, (I downgraded to 10.8 as Mavericks doesn’t have Sync Services).

    • Mike says:

      I am one of those few that have compatibility issues and CAN’T upgrade to Mavericks even if I wanted to. My Macbook wasn’t even able to get Lion originally, but I upgraded my RAM so I could get Lion. At this point, the system requirements necessary for Mountain Lion or even Mavericks would require me to buy a new Mac, which is stupid because mine works just fine… and spending $1000+ on a new machine isn’t necessary just to get Mavericks.

      • McD says:

        Yep, me too: my Santa Rosa MacBook 3.1 still works fine, so I see no good reason, nor financial opportunity, to throw it away and buy a new machine.

        You know what the best and truly amazing thing would be for OSX.9.2? Get it to work with older machines. Now, that would earn some real deserved admiration and entrench customer loyalty. Not possible technically? That’s a shame. It kind of gives ammo to those who continue to slight the Mac as a trust-fund kids’ toy.

        I’ve got four kids. I can’t afford to buy myself a new computer. But I will be buying one for the kids soon. Of course I’ll get them a Mac, but I can’t help feeling a little bit neglected by Apple while the kids get to do all the new fun stuff me and my ancient six-year-old MacBook can’t handle. I’m not that old!

        • Allison says:

          Why don’t you just give the old computer to the kids and keep the new computer for yourself?! Let them pay for it if they want something new :-) In the meantime, stick them with hand-me-downs.

  8. Steve says:

    One reason to not “upgrade” to Mavericks is the removal of local iPhone/iPad syncing, forcing one to use iCloud. I can’t have my work contacts on a cloud service. So I’m stuck on Mountain Lion until, and if, Apple reconsiders the forced iCloud participation.

  9. Mark says:

    Upgrading to Mavericks is not a good idea for anyone who wants to continue to locally sync there Mac with their iPhone etc. Mavericks has removed local sync – forcing users to upload their personal data: contacts and calendars to iCloud. Not all of us want to put our stuff in US based cloud services.

    • aural redux says:

      Yup this is a very good point, look up “How to locally sync an iPhone with OS X Mavericks?” – it’s basically impossible, syncing goes through iCloud. Only solution is to have a Mac with OS X Mavericks Server? LOL what a joke. Another dumb move by Apple.

      • That isn't true says:

        That just isn’t true, I sync my iPad and iPhone lacally as I don’t want to sync it with iCloud. Perhaps you should actually look at the settings…

        • Mike says:

          It IS true – you CANNOT sync locally any iphone/ipad, if your Mac has Mavericks. I had 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard), upgraded to Mav. and that option is GONE. after upgrading, my contacts, calendar & notes would NOT sync anymore. Apple forced users to use iCloud, and put our data at risk of hacking, identity theft, unauthorized access, etc. Not to mention Mavericks doesnt support older versions of MS Office. I used Office 2001, even though it’s old it worked fine for me, but on Mavericks i cannot use it anymore. I have to buy an upgrade – $120-140. So after having these 2 major issues, i downgraded back to 10.6.8, and life is good again. :-P

  10. DG says:

    ………and why you shouldn’t if iCloud is not your thing.

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5460803?start=2610&tstart=0

  11. David says:

    Well – Mavericks is the poorest OS Apple have delivered – it has so many glitches and hiccups its unbelievably bad – open a finder window / apps data etc take your pick and it sits their for ages before it realises you opened the window – it hangs regularly – apple mail is full of problems – the list goes on with it – go back to mountain lion and its a dream – What you done apple ? – and for the record i have been using Macs since 1984 , and the one i use at the moment that lags and splutters is a 4 core i5 with 24gb Memory, no slow coach, except with mavericks YUK YUK YUK

    • Dan Andersen says:

      I’m just a neophyte compared to you, David—I’ve only been using Macs since 1991. On the other hand I’ve been using OS X since it was initially released on March 24, 2001. Mavericks is not just the best version of OS X I’ve ever used; it’s the best OS I’ve ever used.

      On my system, I see none of the issues you mention.

      Your system has a configuration problem and/or is mucked up by third-party junk. Time for troubleshooting…

      • David says:

        HI Dan – Afraid not ! – no configuration errors or third party software issues – these experiences are from a newly formatted drive – fresh installation – and a fibre BB at 70 MBS – put snow leopard back on all the problems disappear – so next solution then please :)

        • Dan Andersen says:

          In that case, your system is probably experiencing hardware problems. Revert to OEM RAM only and disconnect all peripherals other than pointing device and keyboard. If the issues go away, you’ll know where to focus your troubleshooting efforts.

          • David says:

            HI Dan – tis apple memory installed by apple at the time of purchase – there are no peripherals except my apple mouse and apple keyboard and i am on a CAT 5 network via a cable no external drives nothing – over to you :)

          • Dan Andersen says:

            When you referred to “fresh installation,” do you mean without *any* third-party software added? How much free disk space does your system have? Have you performed all firmware updates for the system?

            If you are running a new, bare OS installation on a stock system with no third-party hardware or software and you still have issues, I am stumped. A visit to a Genius™ may be in order…

          • David says:

            HI Dan, Well its had me stumped as well, thats why I dont use mavericks, its not good, going back to ML everything is just great – so here i stay till they get it sorted – and to answer your questions i got 1TB HD with 800 free.

    • Graxxor says:

      David. Sorry, the “Vista TM” award goes to Lion, not Mavericks… You did use Lion, didn’t you?
      I do agree though, that Mountain lion was a smooth ride. Still, I have Mavericks nearly trouble free on four of my computers (C2D mini and 24inch iMac and i7 based 27 inch iMac and 17 inch MBP.) and I far prefer its interface to that of the two lions. the MBP is very sweet, with the battery lasting a good hour longer than I ever recall it lasting on lion.

      However, there are some ridiculously fundamental bugs though… Removing AFP without making sure SMB works, WTF?
      Failure of the hidden dock to pop up correctly when moused over. Seriously, Apple?
      And the Displaylink (USB graphics) support is now completely chuffed-up-the-muffin.

  12. Robert says:

    The finder speed is terrible! How is it that spotlight can find it in seconds, and the finder takes 10-15 secs to open up a folder from any of my programs.

  13. Wilfred says:

    I run Snow leopard, it works efficiently for me. I have looked at mavericks and for me it is a disasterand wonder how a company like Apple can release something so flawed and half way through its expected life span have still not fixed it.
    I run I tunes 10 because i don’t like I tunes 11. And because of this am keeping my ipad on Ios6 which is also unappealing to me.
    Good job apple!

    • McD says:

      Might even start to look like Lion and Mavericks turn into Apple’s Vista.

      • Graxxor says:

        You *have* used Vista, haven’t you?

        • McD says:

          Yep, it was the last Windows operating system I used, having started with DOS in 1988. Twenty years later I migrated to OSX, with some difficulty in breaking twenty-year-old habits I might add, and I’ve never looked back since; wouldn’t go back to Windows, regardless of the number of leaves the new one might have taken out of OSX’s book, for all the tea in China.

          I said, “…Apple’s Vista.” That doesn’t mean it’s anything like the original Vista, just that it could have some things in common, like the way it pisses people off, for a start.

  14. Isidore says:

    I’ve been using the mac since OS6 and Mavericks is one of the worst upgrades ever. Broken apps, finder wierdness, non standard window opening behaviour, but worst of all, the breaking of local syncing. Why on earth can’t we have a choice about selling our souls to iCloud? This really is dreadful. If you are on Mountain Lion think carefully before accepting the poisoned apple from the old crone.

  15. Bob Forsberg says:

    The author and all of us here are avid Mac users, finding our “machine mate” and its OS far from performing well. It is with great hope those responsible at Apple are able to process constructive criticism and make things right.

  16. Lou says:

    My only complaint about Mavericks is that ever since I’ve upgraded my battery life sucks.

  17. Michael says:

    I have to retain Snow Leopard because it’s the last version with Rosetta. I have several key applications that have not been updated past that level, or whose upgrades are inferior to the original. I am also wary of the bugs reported in Mail, which is powerful in Snow Leopard and crippled in Mavericks. My solution is to run a dual-boot Mac with both OSes in separate partitions, a family of applications residing in each. Going to try to make that work with Parallels next, so theoretically I can share many resources between Snow Leopard and Mavericks, and easily flip between them…anyone with experience actually doing this, your insight would be most appreciated.

  18. Doug says:

    I installed Mavericks on the day of its release,and tolerated it for two weeks. I had so many crashing/Finder problems,also unable to shut down the computer properly. Having said that,even if mavericks had been stable on my machine,I would still have reverted to Mountain Lion,which I am using,because of the doing away of coloured labels and the inability to double click a folder to open in a new folder, with Mavericks. Also hate the way Spotlight in Mavericks uses tagging.

  19. Geoff says:

    Obviously the article focused on Lion another inferior Mac operating system in order to try to influence people to upgrade to Mavericks because Mavericks is on a par or worse. The reason I haven’t upgraded to Mavericks (I use a customized Mountain Lion) other than the stupid name and the ugly cover that looks to me like waving grass rather than surf is that I’m just waiting for Jony Ive who hasn’t a clue about graphics or interface design to flatten and rainbow OSX like he did iOS to make it exactly like the other flat ugly interfaces in the smartphone/tablet world because you just know that is exactly what is going to happen down the road. Jony Ive has no taste and neither does Tim Cook. What a shame we lost Steve Jobs.

  20. Don Bruno says:

    My biggest complaint about Mavericks is apple mail…..why did they have to screw with it….it wasn’t broke. When forwarding or composing adding people is very laborious, too many keystrokes now as compared to previous version. It has forced me to go to G mail exclusively which I don’t think is so great either. This alone wasn’t worth the upgrade.

  21. DCJ001 says:

    OS X 10.9.1 is working fine for me. I have no problems whatsoever.

  22. Sioryn says:

    I have been using appleos since OS 7 and I seem to be one of the few people who has absolutely no problem with OS X Mavericks I use mail (with gmail) and it has never crashed; Finder seems to be better than ever thanks to full screen and tabs; I’m still not sold on the tags system but it doesn’t seem worse than labels. Literally the only problem I have found with it is the obvious lack of Rosetta. I do admit that everything that was in Lion, Mtn. Lion and Mavericks is the equivalent of 1 major update, and it should have been refined before public release.

  23. Sliders Alright says:

    Mavericks is pretty good, and is so much better than Lion it’s hard to compare the two. Why is everyone so upset by the recommendation to upgrade? Is it the Mail problems with Gmail? Just use Gmail.com, no big deal.

    And yes, OS X 10.9.2 will (allegedly) fix the Mail Gmail issues too.

  24. Mazzda says:

    I had a lot of trouble with my scanner after the Mavericks upgrade and still have not completely resolved the issue. It took months for FujiZerox to catch up with upgrade and caused a lot of of problems in the meantime.

  25. jengjay says:

    guess i should’ve read the comments first…
    no, i don’t want to sync via iCloud, and no, there’s a lot of apps that might not be compatible with mavericks…
    oh god! Paul…

  26. Robert says:

    Many people I’ve spoken to have had problems with the Mavericks upgrade. Like many Apple upgrades it messes with things that were perfectly fine before. Also the idea that down grading from a Time Machine backup is easy, is totally preposterous. You need to reinstall your operating system separately. This article needs serious editing.

  27. Theo Vosse says:

    I’ve got another reason: I’m using an USB audio interface that doesn’t have 10.9 drivers. Upgrading would make it useless, and the on-board audio isn’t good enough.

    • Derek Jones says:

      Yes – that’s a very important reason for music studios (and any other Mac users who are consumers of external hardware). I won’t be upgrading to Mavericks from Mountain Lion any time soon until I am *absolutely* certain there are no remaining issues with audio interface drivers that would cause an existing working audio rig to break – nor issues with DAW software, AU and VST plugins, and so on. Let alone having to tweak individual settings for applications that I *don’t* want to background in live recording / performance setups.

      Sure – I could load Mavericks to an external drive or clone the existing drive and upgrade it – all easy to do under MacOS, but that’s the only path I would take in order to try it out at all. And even doing that involves downtime that could be spent productively.

      So – no it’s not an automatic or recommended choice in every case.

      I only *just* upgraded another audio studio setup from XP to Windows 7 – and that only because of EOL issues. Ran perfectly well.

      I run Snow Leopard and Lion on 2006 Macbooks still (Can’t go higher than Lion) Works great.

  28. Eithanius says:

    I’m still on Snow Leopard, and I don’t see the need to upgrade – Mavericks just killed SyncServer…

  29. Lee says:

    What the hell is wrong with Lion???

  30. Luca says:

    I’m on Mountain Lion, on Mavericks doesn’t work AuthenTec (now Apple) fingerprints.

  31. HannaRhiannon says:

    I am running an late 08 Mac on Mav and it dose just fine and omg mail works too. I believe Apple reads the blogs sees what the problems are and works to fix them. Trust fund computer. are you kidding, I make less then 800 a month. I got mine used a year ago for 400 the upgrade to Mountain Lion was cheep to Mav free and not like the greedy Windozzzz, most of the app I need are free so are the upgrades to IWorks. We Apple owners are a community, and as such if we push Positive feed back to Apple they do hear us and no I don’t work for them just share what Steve and Waz stood for. Peace Hanna

  32. Wily says:

    I had heard that Mavericks does NOT play well with Google mail. I use Google + for my business and forward the emails to my Mac Mail mailboxes.

    So unless what I heard is just a myth, I’ll be staying put @ 10.8.5

  33. Ken says:

    I seem to remember more weirdities and complaints about 10.3, 10.5, and 10.7 than about 10.4, 10.6, and 10.8.
    Maybe Apple introduces new features in the odd-numbered releases and perfects them in the even-numbered releases.

    I’m really looking forward to OS X 10.10 Renegades. It won’t have many new features as OS X 10.9 Mavericks, but I’m sure it will be as solid as a rock.

  34. Ken says:

    Since Steve Jobs died, Apple seems to be confusing simplification with stupidification. Maybe it’s my imagination, but OS X and iOS seem to be getting dumber and dumber. There’s no network utility in Mavericks, for example, which means you have to wrestle with Terminal.

    A good example of this is Pages, which went from a professional word processor to a coloring book overnight.

  35. Presets says:

    OK here’s my experience with all recent OS X releases on a bunch fo Macs, I’ve used them all extensively…

    OS X Snow Leopard – great, very stable, most reliable OS Apple has made, no complaints, but outdated and increasingly missing new, useful, and important features. Snow Leopard is Apple’s XP

    OS X Lion – worst OS ever made by Apple, avoid or upgrade to get away ASAP! Lion is Apple’s Vista if Vista was even worse.

    OS X Mountain Lion – basically a bug fix release for Lion, it’s pretty good. Things work. If you’re there, stay put. Like Windows 7.

    OS X Mavericks – much better than Lion but… why did Mail break? Why is Finder so slow? Why is memory management so bad? I have 8GB of RAM and I’m always swapped out, grinding everything to a halt. AppNap slows down multitasking, it needs a universal ‘disable’ switch. Mavericks has potential but it is like a poorly tested beta. If you need Mail or local iTunes syncing for iOS – don’t upgrade! If you don’t use Mail or local syncing, it’s a good upgrade for laptops.

    The next version of OS X? – hopefully does nothing but fix Mavericks problems and return features we all were used to. I’m afraid that OS X 10.10 will just be a whiter flatter version of the UI with all the rubbish unfixed… Stop breaking stuff Apple!!! And hire some new members to the Quality Assurance team, or let the community (not just developers) beta test your stuff before dumping it onto the public at large FFS!

    • Dan Andersen says:

      Mail did not break on my systems (an iMac and two MacBook Pro systems) nor is the Finder slow at all. No problems with memory either.

  36. AaronP says:

    I use Mavericks and enjoy it. However the slow Finder response when browsing in it, is rather annoying, or when I am in another App and goto ‘file open’ command the finder takes a bit to view folder contents in wherever I happen to be viewing. I think it might a memory caching issue maybe?

    I don’t use the Mail app anymore as I have had a problem with it, as it takes an insane amount of time to just ‘send’ a simple email w/o attachments. It seems to have an issue connecting with my outbound server…Ive reset my accounts and everything, no luck, still acts the same. I think it might have something to do with maybe my email provider… So I use Thunderbird or Postbox. Those send just as they should. The Mail app has been my biggest issue since 10.5

  37. Ichabod says:

    It is always all about money.
    Why this free upgrade for everyone? So that everybody can buy from the app store without compatibility problems. (except for the hardware of course).

    I personally stay with ML, if everything works fine why you should change? So you can have new problems? No, thanks.

    And still many software doesn’t work at best with mavericks, like in my case pro tools 10.

  38. Max says:

    It was a mistake to upgrade from Mountain Lion to Mavericks.

    Finder is quite slow, now, especially for Save As operations and for showing the thumbnails of photos in a folder.

    They picked the right name, though, Mavericks. The waves are where you find spinning beach balls.

  39. David M says:

    All complaints about OS X Mavericks can be resolved with a CLEAN INSTALL! Slowness, sluggish, crashes, etc, all are gone after a clean install. Or if you buy a brand new Mac with it preinstalled you will see this too.

    The only exception is the Mail problems, which are currently irreparable without running beta software.

    Back up your Mac, format the sucker, and clean install OS X, then restore from Time machine backups. You’ll be problem free.

    • David says:

      David – Thats not the case at all i have re-formatted clean install no extras and mavericks is a bag o S*_^@e – its Apple Vista – some folk seem to run it without a hitch , but seem absolutely loads don’t – have a look at the reviws on the App store – it gets more one stars than anything else – so these problems aint down to a few users – its lots and lots !!

  40. Ignite Mindz says:

    I work at a Mac service center. I was noticing a pattern of people who upgraded to Mavericks on pre 2010 Macs of all types. Hadn’t seen anybody with issues on a computer that was later than 2009, but it was an alarming number. Some upgrading from 10.6, .7 and .8. Of course most did not have backups.

  41. RuralRob says:

    The 3D graphics drivers in Mavericks seem less stable than the ones in Mountain Lion. Games like Minecraft, WoW, etc., caused my mid-2010 MacBook Pro (with clean Mavericks install) to crash and reboot every couple of hours. Reverted back to Mountain Lion and the crashes stopped.

    10.9.2 supposedly has updated drivers, hopefully they will be more stable.

  42. Michael Logue says:

    I am stuck on Lion because neither Mountain Lion or Mavericks will install on my hardware. No amount of exhortations will help me. If and when Apple releases a new MacMini I will probably upgrade.

  43. TomH says:

    Like some who have posted here, my Mac Pro is stuck at Lion because of its age, it’s a 1,1 and unable to have ML or Mavericks installed. There is a group of “nerds” who have been able to get it installed, and a whole lot more to the old faithful 1,1 Mac Pro. But I can’t have it become temperamental as it is my network hub. Not worth it. If the prices of Mac Pros drop when the new ones get on the market I may shop for an older one that is able to move to Mavericks.

  44. Pete says:

    10.9 is very convenient to use, I find it more user-friendly than Mountain Lion. About the Lion OS, I stopped using it moment 10.8 released.

  45. Peggy Sue says:

    I’ve been using Macs since the early ’90 and love ‘em. They were what I purchased for each kid as they left for college. I do regular updates not only on my OS but also all my apps to keep everything running smoothly. I also have Time Machine automatically back up to a connected external LeCie hard drive.

    All that said I planned to upgrade from Mountain Lion to Maverick on both my iMac and MacBook today. I’ve loved Mountain Lion and have had NONE of the problems others speak of and after reading all this…I’m holding off until they have the bugs worked out of Maverick or have moved on to whatever the next OS is going to be called. I just hope that happens before my planned replacement of both my machines in September or October of this year.

    Thanks to one and all for posting, it made my decision incredibly easy. *And now I have 2 days to do something other than deal with computer upgrades. WHOOT!*

  46. Chris says:

    My mac is always up to date. If anything, Mountain Lion was the worst for me. Lion came preinstalled on my mid-2010 white MacBook with zero problems. I ran into trouble with the Mountain Lion update with terrible responsiveness even after a clean install. Mavericks has been a brilliant update for me and has (surprisingly, I’m assuming) not had any issue except for slightly longer shut down time. Mail app has no issues for me, so i believe it’s maybe depending on how users have set up their Mail applications. I use two Gmail accounts on my mac, one Yahoo and one iCloud. No issues here

  47. Because Mavericks and Adobe do not play nice yet.

  48. Greg Frost says:

    Well, I’ve just updated my OS to 10.9.2, and Mail remains broken. In fact, shortly after the update, I received a piece of mail that was incorrectly labeled as spam. I marked it as good, and it immediately vanished…although the Inbox showed the “1” unread piece of mail. But it had become invisible. Mavericks had already played havoc with my own created/named mailboxes, but twice now I’ve ended up with irretrievable mail (in this case resolved by going to the mail site via browser, and reading and deleting the “offending” piece of mail there). Frankly, I wish I had never installed Mavericks.

  49. David D. says:

    I have generally been an early adopter of new operating systems. But I am running 10.6 and see no reason to upgrade, and many reasons not to. Snow Leopard is rock solid, fast, gives me all the features I want, and doesn’t mess with a Save As system I’ve become accustomed to over 20+ years. I can’t afford for my work machine to have downtime or lose emails, etc. and Snow Leopard gets the job done. Period.

    Lion was unequivocally a disaster. Mt. Lion is much better, but imagine a whole operating system devoted to fixing the bugs and poor choices of the previous system. But there are no compelling features that make me want to switch. And then Mavericks is buggy again.

    Instead of coming out with a new operating system every year where the odd-numbered versions are disasters that get fixed by the next update, why not just do one GOOD, stable operating system every two years? What’s wrong with that? Far better than rushing out buggy crap.

  50. Brandon Sky says:

    I used OSX Lion for over 2 years, even after OSX Mountain lion was released. I upgraded to Mountain Lion in December of 2013, and a few days later to OSX Mavericks. Turned out the temporary Mountain Lion was unnecessary.

  51. dave e. says:

    Interesting to read all the hate about Lion. I have it running on a ’08 iMac, an ’09 Mini, and an ’06 Macbook Pro, and have experienced none of the complaints. Yes, it’s slow on the MBP, but I knew that going in.
    Simply can’t afford a newer machine, so I gotta make these last.

  52. Karen says:

    I updated to Mavericks and could not use my scanner or my printers. I had to go back to Mountain Lion. Has this issue been resolved?

  53. Joel says:

    I wish I could agree with you but I found the upgrade to Mavericks a big mistake. Slower, less stability, various hangs, it upgraded my backup so I can’t go back to Lion… I thought I’d waited long enough to do it; glad I didn’t upgrade my other iMac! While the upgrade to Mavericks was “free,” there were programs I needed to upgrade (like Parallels) which cost me quite a lot. And I see no significant benefits to Mavericks over Lion.

  54. Don says:

    I recommend you don’t!

    Mavericks still as of 10.9.3 sucks and getting back to Lion is not easy for a normal user.

    If you decide to ignore my warning though. do yourself a favor and make a OSX lion install partition before you go to Mavericks.

    If you think your backup is going to covert from Lion to Mavericks think again. It won’t!

  55. Igor says:

    I have a reason to stsy on Lion/Mountain Lion: The textures. There’s no way to return them back in Macericks. They were just removed. I love the textures in Lion and I will try everything to go gack to Mountain Lion when I finally get my MBP Retina!

  56. There are specific reasons why I refuse to “upgrade” from Lion on my iMac:
    1) I don’t like iTunes 11. I have my entire library set up in iTunes 10 using CoverFlow to match the CDs on my shelves. iTunes 11 eliminated CoverFlow. Besides that, I don’t like the overall look and operation of iTunes 11.
    2) I hate Safari 6. I hate the combined URL/search bar. Firefox has had them separate (for how long, I wonder?), but they don’t have the round orange return button that Safari has, which I find to be VERY useful for returning to my original search when I get lost in rabbit trails.
    3) My MacBook Air has Mountain Lion, and I find the gray, which is bad enough in Lion, to be even worse in Mountain Lion, causing too much eye strain. Emails have the CC recipients in gray, so I have to strain to see who all got the message. The URLs in Safari are gray after the primary web address, but in my job, I need information beyond the primary web address, which requires more eye strain because of the gray.

    I’m already getting some websites that won’t work with Safari 5 anymore, and probably soon there will be software released that won’t work on Lion (actually, I’ve run across some already), so I’ll have to change eventually. Now I’m looking into running Parallels on my iMac, using Lion for email, web, and iTunes, and using Mavericks for other stuff.

    P.S. So many on here are saying Lion was the worst Mac OS X ever, but I always thought that about Leopard, which was a space hog and very s-l-o-w. I have been pleased with Lion.

  57. And now, amid the horror, Skype insist on Mavericks otherwise they’ll block your account.

  58. Steve Lee says:

    My one complaint about upgrading is the loss of the mosaic option in the screen saver. It is one of the neatest features in Lion and Snow Leopard, almost an app in and of itself, and there are many in the support forums who apparently have the same sentiment. There were workarounds to making it work in Mountain Lion but those options were eliminated apparently in Mavericks. Not of the reasons for its discontinuation, but if anyone else agrees, please let Apple HQ know.

  59. Mario says:

    I upgraded my Macbook from Lion to Mavericks, Big mistake! Cause now it has major connection issues and print driver issues. Expect to lose the ability to connect to your printer via wifi if its connected to another computer that has a different OS other than Mavericks installed. In my case my desktop G5 still has Leopard and I have my 9000 Mark ll Pro Canon Printer connected to it. I was able to send prints from my MacBook Pro fine when it had Lion, now I can’t, even after I updated the drivers supposedly made for Mavericks using Apple Update. :? Personally I believe its a communication issue. I can see the printer on the network, but it makes no connection. It drops then says unable to connect at this time.

    The other Issue was that its not easy connecting from Mavericks to my G5 Desktop with Leopard on via Network. Only after countless searches was I able to find out that Mavericks uses SMB2 technology now to connect by default to other computers on network. But you can force it to use SMB1 by changing the protocol from “AFP://” to “CIFS://servername/”, or “SMB://”, then you can mount that server onto your desktop. BUT!!!! If you want to connect from the Leopard installed G5 to Mavericks, forget about it! No one knows how! Unless your willing to spend $20 for a third party software like Server 3.0 to connect! ANd even then you still don’t know if that will solve the issue! Because its a hit or miss for some!

    ANd by the way…many people are experiencing dropped connections with Mavericks! Just google all this and you’ll see the complaints!

    In conclusion, though I feel my OS is faster with Mavericks which is a Plus! I feel they need to address these other issues which are not being answered on their forum because they just don’t know. So save yourselves the headache until they fix these bugs which are major! I recommend to stick with the version you have now till they fix Mavericks…it has issues which previous versions did not have quite honestly! Unless you’d like to spend money on new Peripherals like your Printer and scanner???!

    Thought I’d save a life here since its to late for me! Hope you don’t fall into my pitfalls! :(

  60. Joan Sands says:

    Why do you publish such a recommendation? There is no way I will upgrade from Snow Leopard to Maveriks because I refuse to be forced into using iCloud.

    • Comprehension says:

      If you read the article you will see exactly why upgrading to Mavericks makes sense if you are running Lion. Interestingly enough, the article says “are you still running OS X Lion?” and not “are you still running OS X Snow Leopard?”

  61. Zoltan says:

    On Mavericks Apple killer Quicklook. On 10.6.8 I just pressed space and watch ANY video. (Yes, 3rd party plugins like Perian needed).
    But on Mavericks not even the older QT videos can be played. 3rd party plugins not supported anymore. I know there is VLC, but why bother with OSX then? I could use Win7 and I could forget the forever unconfigurability of the internal/external monitors. Yes, it is just a tickbox in Windows, but Apple doesn’t give a ship about it. User friendly? Naaaeeh!

  62. Matt says:

    It goes like this:

    Snow Leopard = Windows XP (i.e. people love it and they still use it)

    Lion = Windows Vista (Not very many people like it, and some computers are stuck with it as their Max OS Supported without upgrading internals)

    Mountain Lion = Windows 7 (It’s great, has more features than the previous versions, most people like it, but some still prefer the older interface)

    Mavericks = Windows 8 (It has a lot of bugs that still need to be fixed and things have been changed for the worst (Seriously Microsoft, where’s the start MENU) and not many people like the new interface, but some have gotten used to it and may prefer it (especially if it’s on a touch device)

    That’s my view on it…

  63. Mark Denver says:

    “Running OS X Lion? You should upgrade now” – BULLSQUIRT
    I have tried both Mavericks as well as Yosemite.
    Repeatly problems was the result, now I’m back to 10.8.5.
    Everything works fine, reliable and very fast.
    Advice to upgrade to Mavericks is stupid Bullsquid!!!
    Only one thing I miss from Yosemite are iCloud Drive.
    Apple don’t support intentionally earlier OSX with this feature.
    But if Apple think to blackmail me with this, F..k You Apple…
    P.S.: I’m on Mac Pro 3.1.

Leave a Reply

 

Shop for Apple & Mac Deals on Amazon.com

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates