How to Prepare a Mac for the OS X Yosemite Update the Right Way

Oct 13, 2014 - 91 Comments

How to Prepare a Mac for OS X Yosemite

OS X Yosemite is the latest version of the Mac operating system, complete with an overhauled user interface and a variety of new features that are sure to make your Mac experience better and more productive.

While OS X Yosemite is a free download and arrives as a simple to use installer from the Mac App Store, you’ll want to prepare your Mac before jumping into the update to OS X 10.10. That’s what we’re going to cover here with five simple tips to get everything squared away, updated, and ready to go.

1: Should you update your Mac to Yosemite?

This is a valid question many users have after experiencing some of the issues with prior versions of OS X and iOS, notably the weirdness that was Lion to the variety of bugs and annoyances brought to iOS 8 mobile devices with the more recent iOS launch.

Based upon a fair amount of testing, I would generally say yes, most Macs should update to OS X Yosemite. Performance wise Yosemite appears to be at least the same as Mavericks, and stability wise, it’s about as stable too. That’s a really good thing, most users will be able to update to OS X Yosemite and go right along their business, all while enjoying the new features brought to their Macs.

OS X Yosemite Macs

Perhaps the only reasons not to update to Yosemite would be due to compatibility reasons with some particular app (though if it runs in Mavericks, it will run in Yosemite), an unusually strong dislike for the redesigned user interface (which isn’t too different, just brighter and whiter), or, perhaps a more important potential issue related to the user interface, a readability issue with the thin system font which can be challenging to view on smaller screen Macs. For example, reading the Helvetica Neue system font on a MacBook Air 11″ gives me eyestrain, but that same font looks fine on 22″ monitor, and the font reads fine on any Mac with a Retina display. If you’re sensitive to that sort of thing and you primarily use a smaller screen Mac, it’s at least worth a thought. You can get an idea of what it would look like by downloading a full resolution screenshot of OS X Yosemite like this one and making it full-screen on your MacBook. If you can read everything fine, you should have nothing to be concerned about in terms of the new font. Any font readability issue will likely only impact a small number of users who have less than ideal eyesight and who use Macs with the smallest displays.

2: Confirm System Requirements Compatibility

System requirements for OS X Yosemite are quite generous, and if the Mac is capable of running OS X Mavericks then it can also run OS X Yosemite. The minimum hardware list as determined by developer versions is as follows:

  • iMac (Mid-2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid-2009 or newer), (15-inch, Mid / Late 2007 or newer), (17-inch, Late 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • Mac Mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

OS X Yosemite Compatible Macs List

Those Macs or newer, which all have a Core 2 Duo or better processor, will run OS X Yosemite. You’ll also need at least 15GB of disk space available to download the update from the App Store and then install Yosemite, but realistically you should have more than that avaialble for performance reasons.

3: Update Apps & Install Lingering Software Updates

It’s always good practice to regularly update your Mac apps, system software, and the other occasional updates that come through to OS X, but many of us ignore these things. Before updating to a major new release of OS X, it’s a good idea to update all of this stuff though.

  1. Head to the  Apple menu and choose “Software Update”
  2. Install whatever updates are waiting within the Updates tab of the Mac App Store

Software update

As usual, if any core system updates are in there, be sure to back up the Mac before installing them.

4: Perform General System Maintenance

Performing some general system maintenance is always a good idea, so try to make it a habit. We’ve touched on some easy maintenance tips before, and they still apply here.

Mac Maintenance

If your Mac is low on hard drive space, free up disk space so that you have enough available storage to install the update and be sure that OS X has space to run well (that means plenty of room for caches, virtual memory, your own files and apps, etc).

Also, if you have some old Mac apps that are sitting around collecting dust and never being used, you may want to consider uninstalling them to free up some space and reduce overhead for functions like Software Update.

5: Back Up the Mac

You’re almost ready to install Yosemite! But before doing so, you absolutely must back up your Mac. This should not be considered optional, without a backup you could lose your stuff if something goes wrong. Don’t risk it, just back up your Mac. Time Machine is so easy to use, runs automatically and routinely, and external hard drives are cheap. Seriously, there’s no excuse and the risk is not worth it, always have backups.

Time Machine

Remember to start a backup with Time Machine right before you begin the actual installation with Yosemite, this insures that if a disaster happens, you can resume to exactly where you were right before the problem happened. Do not skip this!

6: Download Yosemite & Install

Checked everything off the list and you’re ready to go? Head to the App Store, start the download on your Mac, and update to OS X Yosemite, and enjoy!

Install OS X Yosemite

Remember that to utilize the full feature set in OS X Yosemite, you’ll also want the latest version of iOS (iOS 8.1 or newer) on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, this allows for features like Handoff, Continuity, and the ability to make phone calls from your Mac.


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


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  1. Magui says:

    Note: I have an early 2009 Tower Mac Pro. In order to make a clean install of Yosemite you need to install Snow Leoppard disk first (10.6.2) and then perform a system update to 10.6.8 (yosemite can’t be installed on previous versions of OSX).
    The problem was that when I tried to do that (download the updates from 10.6.2 to 10.6.8 and restart) the computer got stuck on desktop background’s outerspace image (no finder, no dock, no menu bar).
    This is how I solved it: Once I downloaded all the updates from system update, I clicked on “show details” button and I selected ONLY THE UPDATES RELATED TO OSX upgrade. I unchecked all other items (iTunes, remote blabla).
    This worked fine and finally allowed me to upgrade to 10.6.8 and then use my Yosemite boot drive. :) Thought this could help.

  2. Vicki Seaman says:

    Why can’t I use iPhoto now since I have upgraded to Yosemite? And in the app store it says that the update is not available in US stores?

  3. Peter says:

    OS X has been terrible since Snow Leopard. Looks terrible and has compatibility issues with audio hardware and software which I use.
    Snow Leopard for me was Apple’s highlight as is Windows 7 from Microsoft.

    Now we see that both of these vendors are going with a flat, ugly minimalistic style. More computing power = less eye candy ?? insane nonsense.

    Personally, my computers run Windows 7 and OSX SL and when I need to buy new hardware and neither of those 2 OSes will run properly I am going 100% Linux.

    Both Apple and Microsoft have lost me due to there latest rubbish.

  4. Shawn MacKenzie says:

    I have a MacBookPro 2009 that has been on 10.6.9 for yrs. So I purchased a 1Terabit Portable HD partitioned it, backed up all legacy portables kicking around & installed Mavericks in 1 partition. This way on startup if I hold down the option key I can choose the OS system that I want hence all my familiar apps are still their & accessible. Have been thinking of doing the same thing with Yosemite. I usually wait till apple is into 3rd to 4th release.

    The Old If It’s Working, Do Not Mess With IT!

  5. roger says:

    Even though I have painfully upgraded to Yosemite over a period of several failures and a week, this article has not given me one solid reason why I should upgrade from Mavericks, which I finally got working relatively well after much painful gas. Now that stuff has started not working so well in Yosemite I am regretting all the frustration of moving to worse than I already had. I want my stable 10.6.8 back. Woe is me.

  6. Ivy says:

    After much frustration, just took the sim card out of my camera and pics loaded. USB would not do the upload

  7. Emma says:

    I’ve installed Yosemite and all appears ok except I can no longer upload my photos from my camera to iPhoto! It starts to do it then just stops! I can’t use just my memory card because my Macbook doesn’t have a slot – I have to use the USB lead….I never had a problem before! Anyone else experiencing this and does anyone know of a fix?

  8. Shawn says:

    Hey I really want to ask. I installed Yosemite successfully, and everything is running smoothly. However, I previously had a Windows 7 boot camped into my mac, and now I can’t see it. I can’t restart my mac into the windows drive. Anyone know what I could do?

  9. Anna says:

    I upgraded to Yosemite last night and upon reboot this morning found that my Bootcamp drive is no longer visible. I’m not sure if I lost the entire drive or if there is some reason why I do not have access to it. Anyone else have this issue?

  10. Switchonandwork,nope says:

    12. meant nothing just seeing if your paying attention.
    19. Yes there are punctuation and spelling mistakes, that’s why I bought a Mac.
    20. iPhone wont sync
    21. G mail has issues…
    22. Heres an idea, Apple store gives us all a Mac for free and when it works correctly we hand over the Harry Ash. Only seems fair as they expect the same from the people walking in the door.
    23. PS Toyota glitches have nearly sent it broke with call for handouts from the government to save a failed product. Apple, if you need you can camp on my sofa bed.

  11. Switchonandwork,nope says:

    1. Icons have been designed by a 3 year old.
    2. All contacts lost (yes back up done but non responsive)
    3. Web Mail just laughed at me (metaphorically)
    4. Mail chooses when it wants to work
    5. All videos lost
    6. Office lost
    7. WIFI issues, more sand in the face
    8. Finder side column lost picture, video folders
    9. Start up super slow, shut down quicker through
    10. Bought a mac for simplicity. K.I.S.S
    11. As for better resale I disagree as after smashing it….
    12. Now I find myself in the street with “end of the world signs”
    13. It is 2014 is it not?
    14. Better the devil you know, buying Samsung phone, laptop and shares first thing Monday as I have to become a self non paid employee to sort my Mac over and over than
    15. Found 2 cans and a string on eBay, communications will resume soon
    16. Yes, iv finally cracked and will use my MBP next to the can behind my wedding car
    17. Goodbye Apple, was good while it lasted but im afraid I have found someone else, it not you its just…well no, its you, please get well soon
    18. Beta version is always supported and monitored properly to raise support for sales

  12. macbook 2008 says:

    Will my macbook 2008 (os x 10.5.8) will support os x yosemite ??
    I have a core 2 duo 2.2 Gh and 1 Gb of ram !!!

  13. Mick B says:

    Will windows 8.1 still work on my imac using bootcamp if I upgrade to OSX Yosemite operating system

  14. 2007 imac says:

    anyone use yosemite on a mid 2007 imac with 4 gigs RAM? will it run ok or be slow?

  15. Brian S says:

    TRIM support for non-Apple SSDs is not so easy with the advent of kext signing in Yosemite. More info here at the site:

  16. YosemiteFAIL says:

    My “friend”, you’re a complete idiot, suggesting it’s OK to upgrade to Yosemite!

  17. Florian says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I really think that the resolution of my iMac (2007) got pretty bad after the update on Yosemite.
    Everyone here who has the same impression?

  18. Jan says:

    Moving to Mavericks has cost me days, making me nearly lose all my data, mostly because installing it simply on top of a software-based RAID-1 (mirror), was not possible. Mail application never worked correctly again, with corrupt indexes which destroy entire inboxes when rebuilding the inbox… and a time machine not seein any old mail… Has cost me days of work to get most of my data/old mail back, but still w/o correct indexes. How is that with Yosemite?

  19. Natallia says:

    I made a mistake of upgrading to Yosemite from Snow Leopard and now would gladly pay someone to remove this thing from my Mac! aside from other endless errors and being super sloooooowwwww, I am still not able to set up my Mail. It gives me this: – please see screen shot, every time. just going in circles. “Your mail index has been damaged. To repair it, quite Mail” but it does not repair and the “rebuild” function is faded out too. I see that I am not the only one with this problem, can we please get some respond from Apple folks on this one please?????

  20. WBOL says:

    How to encrypt a particular folder or file in an external drive using Mac OS Yosemite? I don’t need to encrypt the entire drive so only a folder within it. Pls help.

  21. Kawan says:

    Can i downgrade to mavericks after having yosemite . I have got installer of mavericks 10.9.5

  22. David says:

    You say if an app will run in Mavericks it will run in Yosemite. No that isn’t always true, for a start Parallels have been using the fact that V8 (which does all I need and is perfectly stable on Mavericks) to try and get more cash from me as it won’t work and I’ll need to buy an upgrade if I upgrade the OS.

  23. Ahmed Abunuwara says:

    i got Error

    Erasing Disk: 0%… 10%… 20%… 30%…100%…
    Copying installer files to disk…
    Copy complete.
    Making disk bootable…
    Couldn’t mount dmg /Volumes/Install OS X Yosemite/Install OS X (error code 112)Mount of outer dmg failed.

  24. Hector says:

    I can’t seem to get a hold of Yosemite.
    I followed all these steps and began downloading, and in the end, I get an error massage saying it can’t be downloaded ir installed. Anyone have any idea??

  25. Rean says:

    What about for Bootcamp? Will it affect the files?

  26. maharith says:

    Is it possible to download Yosemite 10.10 into a ISB flash drive, then later install in MP early 2011.

    • Kr00 says:

      USB drive, yes.You’ll find in the tips & tricks page, how to do this with Mavericks. Just follow the same process for Yosemite.

  27. Alex says:

    For those using the beta, I am really concerned about the type size. My mom has a MacBook late 2008 and making the screen test suplied here, I think she will have serious complains about redeability. Is there a way to increase type size?

  28. Martin says:

    Now, if someone wanted to completely restore their computer, a fresh start if you will, what would they have to do when Yosemite is available?

  29. iSALAM says:

    I have MacBook Pro late 2008 15″, 2.4 GHz, 8GB RAM and Yosemite works like a charm

  30. Jeffrey Knudsen says:

    I have a little 13 inch MacBook Pro and iPhone5. I get all the updates and I’ve had no problems of any kind. However I did not get the OS 8.1 simply because I didn’t know it was there. I read all the hoopla and got the 8.2. So I have never experienced ANY of these problems these people describe. Am I simply lucky or all these whiners oversensitive like the clown who said he shall give the Yosemite OS “a wide berth” ?? Amazing how people simply expect 100% perfection in every element of their life and it must really suck to be them and to be disatisfied every turn.

  31. Dusseljee says:

    I have still lots of GPU (graphicscard) problems running the latest GM on my MacBookPro-late-2011.

    Problems like distortion of the screen, or sudenly shifted to the side….or just locking up.

    And when i have to restart, it can take up to 10 times, before it’s running again.

  32. Adam says:

    I really want to do a clean install. I would love if you dedicate a post to those wanting a clean install. I have a few questions regarding that.

    – How does one do that exactly? Put 10.10 on a usb drive and format?
    – Would it work just as well if I partition and install 10.10 and eventually get rid of the 10.9 partition?
    – What is the best way to move application licenses, aperture library, parallels windows, and email?

    Thanks :)

    • Adam says:

      Just to be specific about application licenses. I’m obviously not talking about stuff I bought from the app store. I purchased Parallels and MS Office 2011 outside the App Store, and I get the feeling that installing them on the clean 10.10 might cause a license error.

      • Tim says:

        I updated and lost my Office 2011. Now my keyed won’t work and getting any sort of response from MS regarding this is futile.

      • BC says:

        I lost my Office 2011 free upgrade whilst doing a clean install following Maverick installation crash on my iMac. I will probably have to plead with Microsoft to let me have the Activation Code!

        I purchased a high-end MacBook Pro last year with the intention on installing a £5k piece of specialist external software run through bootcamp- but have now lost confidence in Apple.


    • micqo says:

      Yes. I would like to hear how to make a bootable USB and how to do a clean install :)

  33. Maish says:

    I will be giving Yosemite a wide berth after the fiasco of ios8. I have really lost confidence in Apple over the last few weeks and I will wait and see what other users experience with Yosemite. ios 8 has bricked my iphone and ipad mini is not working the way that it did before the upgrade. Apple is not the same company as it once was and has lost it’s lustre.

    • Kr00 says:

      “Bricked” your iPhone and iPad? Really? So you can’t even turn them on? Because thats what bricked means. So lets just assume the worst because you don’t know what bricked means and have no clue what Yosemite actually is. Somehow I wouldn’t be taking your advice. Maybe move over to android and windows. You might see the difference then.

      • RosieW says:

        That is unnecessarily rude! I entirely understand what he means by ‘bricking’ his iPhone, it is in the sense that his phone has become as slow, unresponsive and sluggish as the old ‘brick’ phones used to be. That is the meaning of ‘bricked’ in this context. I fully concur with the sentiments too – my iPhone 4S has become so slow and buggy it is significantly poorer performance wise to my children’s android phones (they were offered my old phone and both refused it – far preferring what they had (after a brief bit of testing). My iPhone 6 however, works beautifully and with iOS 8 and Yosemite I think the interactions and hand off etc are just brilliant. This forum is supposed to offer helpful advice and experience, not a platform for smugness and arrogance (Ted) nor pointless insults (Kr00)…consider before posting please!

      • DCK says:

        You’re really being rude, Mr Know-all

  34. David Fickes says:

    I’m just wondering if Apple finally fixed the many issues in to deal with Gmail accounts (yes, Google has a non-standard IMAP) and a few others.

  35. R says:

    do I need to update first to Maverick before install of Yosemite?

  36. Kev says:

    backing up using time machine is not feasible for many. I regularly work on files that are several gb in size, so having them backup every hour or so is soon going to fill up any hard drive. I backup work incrementally every 12 hours to an internal backup drive, and back up the boot drive to another internal hd nightly.

  37. Kev says:

    backing up using time machine is not feasible for many. I regularly work on files that are several gb in size, so having them backup every hour or so is soon going to fill up any hard drive. I backup work incrementally every 12 hours to an internal backup drive, and back up the boot drive to another internal hd nightly.

  38. David says:

    What (desirable) new features and/or performance improvements are offered in Yosemite?

    I have been extremely disappointed in the system look and feel design in the last year or so of Apple software. Why are they ditching the last 30 years of excellent design standards? This looks more like a comic book than the world’s best computer design.

    Is there any reason I would want this upgrade at all?

  39. ! says:

    What about clearing cache? I will be clearing all my cache before I update. We are getting all new icons and UI, so that will definately speed my Mac up.

  40. Carl says:

    When is the Yosemite actually launching for real?
    I have been running the betas and its been absolutely great. I’ve had no issues and everything looks great. Cannot wait to try out hand-off and continuity.

  41. What burrito says:

    All apps work well in Yosemite. Yosemite is Mavericks with some makeup on it. Same OS.

    The only thing that is bad is iTunes 12. iTunes 12 is terrible. Yosemite good. Itunes 12 bad.

    • Damon Schultz says:

      Agree with all this, including iTunes 12. It sucks.

      I’m using a Mavericks Server running Calendar Server and Time Machine Server: interoperability is good between it and Yosemite. I just wish the in Yosemite would connect as a console to administer Mavericks Server! has been steadily improving. Performance in early Public Betas with my IMAP server ( was poor, but these performance issues seem to have been resolved. There is STILL a display bug with sorting by column, but it’s minor. I can’t comment on the well-publicised issues with the non-standard IMAP implementation of as I don’t use it.

  42. macfoxpro says:

    Should I update this on a Late 2008 MBP? It seems like ever tie I update, my MBP just gets slower and slower. Kinda thinking I should take it back to Snow Leopard. Are there any things I can do to get it running any better with this new, upcoming OS? I updated my RAM (Crucial) a few years back.

    • macfoxpro says:

      I mean I added RAM a few years back.

    • Pilgrim says:

      The biggest performance boost you can provide to a machine with a hard drive is to replace the HD with an SSD. I replaced mine a few months ago on a 2012 MBP and the difference is like night and day!

  43. vdiv says:

    This is one of the good reasons to have virtual machines, Parallels, VBox, VMware or whathaveyou. I will try Yosemite on a virtual machine first and see what adjustments will have to be made. I am not a big proponent for change for the sake of change. Mavericks has been stable, relatively responsive, and very usable on my MacBook Pro and Mac Pro. There is nothing in Yosemite for me that Mavericks doesn’t do. I will upgrade eventually, but not immediately.

    • Kr00 says:

      Handoff, much improved notification centre, Dark Mode, phone calls from a Mac and sms compatibility. Hardly the same as Mavericks. Unless you’ve tried it, I wouldn’t be too eager to dismiss it.

  44. Christian says:

    As always I prefer a clean install instead of updating… ñ_ñ

  45. Raven says:

    I’ve been running the public beta on my Early 2009 24” iMac.

    It runs great and I have no issue reading the fonts, and I’m almost 60 and wear reading glases.

    I’ve encountered very few bugs, and the later betas are pretty solid.

    I’m sure somene will come up with a free utility that can change the fonts. Maybe OnyX? Doesn’t bother me though.

    And for the people who don’t like the bright interface, there will be a dark mode.

    • Avenged110 says:

      Unfortunately, the dark mode only changes the dock, menu bar, and spotlight. It does nothing for the lighter application interfaces. There’s also no mode to bring back the character, shadows, textures, and gradients OS X seems to lack now haha.

  46. Ted says:

    “Performance wise Yosemite appears to be at least the same as Mavericks, and stability wise, it’s about as stable too.”
    Well, if you read this sentence carefully, it’s pretty much says “not really”.

    For such a major update, I think a full install with a HD erase would be safer. I probably wait at least 6 months before I consider upgrading. I always get a kick out of all the people who start whining about the features the new upgrade broke because they just installed it on top of the current OS.

    • Ted says:

      …and that Trash can… that’s just dreadful. I think that’s the worst of all the UI. Who has a trash can like that? There’s no such trash can in existence. I think Apple ran out of budget and hired a designer from Microsoft to have that trash can designed.

    • Paul says:

      This is based on the Developer Preview and Public Beta builds, the most recent version (today for Beta 6) is very stable so far. Actually having more crashes and problems with Mavericks than Yosemite, at the moment.

    • Kr00 says:

      Unless you’ve road tested it, you really can’t judge. Until then, assuming anything isn’t advisable either.

  47. Random guy from Poland... says:

    I have Yosemite beta from very begining. It’s fast on Mac Mini. I just downloaded it and instal it without any preparing. I think that everyone who can, should update to Yosemite.
    (sorry if I wrote something bad, but I’m from Poland)

  48. Barley says:

    Great advice thanks! Excited for Yosemite, public beta is pretty good and better than lion ever was.

  49. AJ says:

    Yosemite is pretty good, GM 3 still feels like a beta though so expect OS X 10.10.1 soon after the release if this is the final version. It’s not as bad as iOS 8 but it has bugs here and there, may of which pertain to the interface (dark mode is comical still).

    Speaking of interface, the system font is really quite dreadful without a retina display, clearly Apple didn’t test this thing on any screen that wasn’t Retina. On a retina Mac, it looks nice, much like Helvetica Neue looks good on an iPhone – notice how they don’t make non-retina iPhones anymore? Yea, that whole font thing…

    Which brings me to the problem with your recommendation of using an Apple provided screen shot at full resolution to demo the appearance: Apple edited their screen shots to have higher font color contrast! Look closely. Don’t see it? Don’t believe it? For anyone running Yosemite, all you need to do is open a Finder window and look at the titlebar… the font is light grey. Meanwhile, Apple screenshots show a black font (or at least very dark grey) in Finder titlebars. So, clearly Apple thought dark grey looked best for their marketing efforts, but that didn’t carry over to the development team who are using light grey system fonts that are so thin you’ll be visiting an eye doctor in no time. Unless of course you have a Retina display, right? And what do you know, new Macs with Retina displays are coming right up, so get out your credit cards folks, if you want to read your screen, cha-ching!

    • AJ says:

      And to be clear, I like Yosemite, but I expect OS X 10.10.1 or OS X 10.10.2 will have a font solution once a million and one users discover it to be difficult to read.

      • Gimli Gimmlecakes says:

        Interesting, just noticed the same thing. The fonts used in Apple Preview pages for Yosemite have greater contrast than fonts used in Yosemite Public Beta.

        Simply using the same fonts would probably solve peoples complaints. But remember that iOS 7 preview pages had drop shadows on icons and text? That didn’t ever come to the public either, so don’t hold your breath.

        Anyway, Yosemite is good. I like it, feels new.

  50. Sendil Nathan says:

    Can someone review exactly what experience they have with OSX 10.10 Yosemite on MacPro 2009?

    I have a good working MacPro and I am afraid to go down the iOS8 route of dismal failure and ruining my experience with Apple.

    In fact, a How-To on upgrading to 10.10 and a downgrade back to 10.9 in the event of performance failure would be most appreciated.

    Needless to say, I’d also like to make sure there is no automatic download and upgrade to 10.10 because I’ve setup the OSX for autoupdate for minor releases.

    I’ve completely lost faith in Apple’s motto, “Just Works.” I’d believe in elves and dwarves before I trust Apple again.

    • Paul says:

      As long as you have a Mavericks installer and make a full backup with Mavericks you’d be able to downgrade to it in the event something is awry. Or you can use an app like SuperDuper to clone the Mavericks drive, which could be restored in the event you don’t like Yosemite.

      No experience with Yosemite on a 2009 Mac Pro, but it runs quite well on 2011-2013 models that are probably less powerful, like the MacBook Air line and Retina MacBook Pro.

      • DG says:

        Be careful with that. I’m not sure that SuperDuper will leave the recovery partition intact.

        • Sendil Nathan says:

          Thank You to both of you. I would still like to hear of MacPro 2009 experience with 10.10.

          As per your advise I guess I should retain the Maverick 8gb USB.

          I heard that 10.10 needs 15gb on upgrade. What is the USB requirement on that one? Since I have to buy a new USB I might as well be ready on that one.

          • Omair Saadi says:

            I have installed it on my iMac (Early 2009) with an 8GB Ram, and its working like a charm. You could wait for a week or two before upgrading though. Apple might find new bugs and release an update. They have been quick with iOS 8, so I am hoping they will do the same with Yosemite.

    • franz dibbler says:

      The public betas run great on my 2010 MBP. I happen to *like* the new system font even though non-retina display.

      • Paul says:

        This is a great point to make, some think the new font looks better. And many won’t notice the difference at all.

        As mentioned in another comment, using ‘Increase Contrast’ can be a good way to make the font pop-out if you’re having a hard time reading it on smaller displays like the 11″ Air.

      • Josh says:

        I agree my 2010 MBP has run faultless with 10.10 and also have no issue with the font.

    • Kr00 says:

      Have a late MacBook Pro 2009 17 inch 3.06 Ghz Core 2 Duo 4 Gb RAM.

      Runs very smoothly, stock apps start up on the second or third bounce. iPhoto is a bit slow, but it was the same on Mavericks (and an update is coming in the new year). VLC has some issues, Notification centre works great, Safari feels snappier, iTunes 12 is better, Mail has a couple of very minor issues but that could be my setup. CS6 runs perfectly, and I’m loving dark mode. So far I haven’t had any compatibility issues with third party apps, and unlike some, I do like the new UI. Have this on a partition, clean installation. I do expect some legacy issues when I update on my Mavericks partition (never as good as a clean install) Hope this helps.

      • Sarah says:


        I just went and downloaded 10.10 Yosemite but the iPhoto is saying needs to be a 9.6 version which when i try to download is not happening and no access to my old iPhoto photos or photos…if i do get it downloaded should it import what i had in iPhoto already. should have prepped a bit better…

  51. Avenged110 says:

    Thanks for actually mentioning the camp that I fall squarely into – a strong dislike for the UI. Not a fan of thin fonts with tight kerning and I am SO SICK of EVERYTHING being white. What happened to good software design where they actually tried to make it visually appealing and interesting. Apple’s software has become so boring and distasteful… That and the new font really does look horrifically bad on non-retina displays.

    • Paul says:

      The new font is certainly worth mentioning for non-retina Macs and smaller displays. It can be made easier to read by using the “Increase Contrast” feature in Accessibility preferences, however. I use that setting on the native MacBook Air with 11″ display, but when it’s attached to a bigger external display it’s not as necessary.

      • JT says:

        Thank you for that. Is there really no way to increase the base Yosemite font? It’s minuscule on my 13″ MacAir.

        • PH says:

          Unfortunately Apple does not provide an option to increase the size of the core system font in OS X Yosemite. It would be a good idea to let Apple know directly through their feedback mechanism that a larger or bolder font option is desired:

          For what it’s worth, myself and many others I know filed feature requests and feedback reports about the Yosemite font during the Developer Preview and Public Beta, all of which went ignored. The general public will have to voice their complaints about this one otherwise nothing will change and the font will remain difficult to read.

          • JT says:

            I’ve sent them a message – this is so disappointing. Mavericks was bad, but this is insane. Thanks for the answer.

    • matt_s says:

      Agreed, it just looks shoddy & overly simplistic.

      It’s a bit pathetic that this is all they could do with all those new pixels…

      • JoeC says:

        You are all so right… why double the resolutions of displays when not really using them… this all over simplistic and boring white background with no real way to customize ist as needed is the just the opposite of awesome, Apple, it’s simply horrible. I will probably restore all my devices back to OS X SL and iOS 6 just for my eyes – what a nice piece of software this was – the latter oneis just like the imperors new clothes: “not there”, it’s in a mock-up stadium. crazy colors, not enough differentiation of functions and interactive elements any more… awful! Shame on you, Apple :((

    • U.N. Owen says:

      I always chuckle whenever I read whiny rants like ths.


      Because Macs are the most customisable computer.

      I’ve been using them a long time, and while I can’t say ths for certain, I’d b willing to bet u haven’t much in terms of ‘real’ skills with making ur Mac ‘YOUR’ Mac.

      My mac looks & acts like no one else.

      As can yours.

      You can use things like TinkerTool – and with it, u can choose ANY fonts (on your computer) to be your system fonts, menu bar fonts, etc.

      There are other ways to customise – using Terminal, or – if you don’t know how, using MacPilot.

      So, you don’t like Apple’s software for being ‘boring & distasteful?’

      There’s ALWAYS ‘Windoze.’

      So, whine if you want, or DO something

      • DCK says:

        You have to be a long-time knowledgeable user… like yourself. You have already admitted to that.
        First you’d have to find the necessary tools on the net. Then learn how to use them for specific tasks like fonts. And so on. I know because I have already done customizing myself. My system is black, silver-gray with translucency.
        Now, there are people who don’t even know what fonts are, like my mom or my dad. Or like my friends. These people just use the browser, email, finder, iphoto etc.
        But not Terminal!Do you really expect such people to customize themselves? You just can’t. They wouldn’t even know where to start!!!
        You’re being quite arrogant actually…

      • MP3 says:

        Care to share some screenshot?

      • PinkSlip says:

        Yes, I’m sorry, but I have to agree with DCK, that you are missing the entire point of Mac being ‘amazing’ by failing to allow operation of their systems to be an accessible standard. I do not and never will use Terminal for anything but one or two commands. To expect a modern, fast-paced, supposedly superior system to offer an alternative is *not* “whiney,” as you arrogantly state. IT’S A STANDARD WE EXPECT BECAUSE WE PAY MORE FOR A MAC!

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