How to Prepare for & Install macOS Sierra
With MacOS Sierra now available, Mac users can now get Siri on their computers, have improved iCloud integration, unlock their Macs with an Apple Watch, use Apple Pay on the web, and much more. Before you go diving right into updating to macOS 10.12 though, you should take a few precautionary steps to prepare for the software update.
We’ll walk through some simple steps to prepare for updating to macOS Sierra so that you can install the new Mac OS system software with ease.
1: Check Hardware for Support
Is your Mac supported by macOS Sierra? If it’s relatively new and built in the middle of 2010 onward, the answer is probably yes, but you’ll want to be sure by viewing the macOS Sierra compatibility list first.
Most apps that are compatible with El Capitan are compatible with Sierra as well, just be sure you update your apps after you install macOS Sierra. If you have any mission critical apps, you may want to reach out to the developer to investigate if a particular application has any issues or not.
2: Backup, Backup, Backup
No matter what system software you update, you always should backup first. Don’t skip making a complete and thorough backup of your Mac before installing MacOS Sierra.
Setting up Time Machine on a Mac is easy and allows for simple backups and restoring in the odd event something goes haywire.
Don’t skip a backup, it’s important.
3: Installing macOS Sierra
Did you backup? Did you insure your Mac is compatible? And you backed up the Mac completely so that all of your data is secure? Don’t skip the backup. Then you’re ready to update and install macOS Sierra. The simplest way to update is by letting the installer run after downloading, this will bring the current version of Mac OS X up to date to the Sierra, it’s a pretty easy process:
- Go ahead and download macOS Sierra now from the Mac App Store
- When the Installer launches, go through the simple steps and select your Mac hard drive to update to macOS Sierra
- macOS Sierra will download and install, rebooting the Mac when completed
Typically a macOS Sierra installation takes a bit over an hour, but it can vary depending on computer speed, what version is being updated, and how much stuff is on the Mac.
When it’s finished installing, the Mac will reboot itself into macOS 10.12 Sierra, ready to go and enjoy.
Additional macOS Sierra Installation Notes
- If you were in the macOS Sierra beta testing program, you might want to opt out of Mac OS X beta software updates after you get to the final version, otherwise you’ll keep getting minor beta releases offered as updates
- If you need to re-download macOS Sierra, delete any existing beta installers on the Mac, reboot, and you should be able to get the latest macOS Sierra installer
- Want to make a bootable installer drive? You can create a macOS Sierra boot drive easily with these instructions, you’ll need an 8GB or larger USB drive and the original installer handy, that’s about it
- Users can perform a clean install of MacOS Sierra if desired as well, we’ll cover that in the future
- If you’re skittish about updating, waiting until the first minor point release version (in this case, macOS Sierra 10.12.1) is a relatively common conservative strategy to try and avoid any potential bugs that may linger in the final release
- As long as you made a backup beforehand, you can downgrade from Sierra if need be after the fact
- If you want to use the iOS-to-Mac and vice versa clipboard feature, you’ll need to be sure the iPhone or iPad is updated to iOS 10 or later
Are you prepared for Sierra? Did you jump right into the update? Do you have any thoughts on installing macOS Sierra? Let us know in the comments!