Everything you need to know to update your Mac to the latest version of macOS

Everything you need to know to update your Mac to the latest version of macOS

On October 25, Apple released a new version of the Mac operating system, macOS Monterey. Just over half a year later, in June 2022, the company introduced the next version, macOS Ventura, which will not officially arrive until the fall.

Thus, we are faced with a dichotomy and you will have to decide if you are among those who prefer to play it safe and install the latest official version or if you are one more brave person who dares to download beta versions on your computer despite possible failures.

In case you are in the second category, we advise you to take a look at our guide to install macOS beta (macOS Ventura beta, in this case). For everyone else, you’ve come to the right place, and here’s how to upgrade your Mac.

What computers are compatible with macOS Monterey?

These are the devices compatible with macOS Monterey, the latest version of the operating system:

  • iMac from late 2015 and newer
  • iMac Pro from 2017 and later
  • Mac Pro from late 2013 and newer
  • Mac mini from late 2014 and newer
  • MacBook Pro from early 2015 and later
  • MacBook Air from early 2015 and later
  • MacBook from early 2016 and later

What to consider before updating macOS

As with the rest of Apple’s operating systems, macOS Monterey is also available through the company’s app store, in this case, the Mac Apple Store. As long as your equipment is compatible, it will appear in the form of an update.

Your biggest concern may be whether some of the programs you currently manage and need to use on a daily basis will still work on the new operating system. Fortunately, there are a few ways to test this with Monterey without removing the previous version of macOS.

Discover how to run macOS on an external hard drive if what you want is to make sure that the software works fine on the new operating system before upgrading your computer.

Find the version of macOS you need

The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out exactly what version of the Mac OS to install, and make sure there’s no reason not to install it. We have guides so you can find out more about what Monterey, Big Sur and Catalina have to offer.

If you decide to wait and download the version of macOS a few months after it’s released, or if you’re thinking of upgrading your Mac to an earlier version of macOS, keep in mind that the version you download will be a version prior to the latest update.

Therefore, you should expect to have to update the operating system again once you have installed it, but this should happen automatically. Apple continues to release updates throughout the year, patching vulnerabilities and fixing problems.

Make sure you have enough space

Apple suggests that you should have at least 20GB of free space on your Mac’s drive before installing a new version of macOS, though you may not need as much.

In general, we recommend that you always try to have 10% of the total space on your Mac free. If you don’t have enough space or your Mac is running slowly, learn how to improve your Mac’s performance before proceeding with the new installation.

make a backup

Another very interesting option is to make a backup of your Mac. Time Machine has always made this process easy. However, we suggest you take a look at our list of the best software of backup for Mac this year.

Make sure you’re on a reliable Wi-Fi network

We also recommend that you be on a reliable network, either at home or at work. In addition to having a good bandwidth, it is interesting to avoid downloading these types of updates in hotels, cafes or places with public Wi-Fi networks.

Sometimes, if you are close to the router and your Mac allows it, you can use a wired Gigabit Ethernet connection with which the download will be carried out much faster without saturating the connection of the rest of the users.

How to prepare your Mac for an operating system update

In short, here are the steps you need to follow when updating your Mac to the latest version of macOS:

  1. Find the version of macOS you need.
  2. Check that you Mac is supported.
  3. Make sure you have enough space on your Mac.
  4. Back up your Mac.
  5. Make sure your Mac is healthy.
  6. Sign in to iCloud.
  7. Make sure you are on a trusted network.
  8. Update to the latest version of your current version of macOS.
  9. Download macOS only from the Mac App Store.
  10. Install macOS on your Mac.

How to update your Mac computer to macOS Monterey?

Next, we are going to guide you step by step to avoid the appearance of problems or obstacles in the update. Here’s how to update to Monterey from different editions of macOS: Big Sur, Mojave, Catalina, High Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, or an earlier version of macOS X.

How to upgrade to macOS Monterey from Big Sur, Catalina, or Mojave

If you have Catalina, Mojave, or Big Sur installed on your Mac, the update will come naturally through the ‘Software Update’ option. You might even see a notification that a system update is available.

You should proceed like this:

1. Open ‘System Preferences’ (you can click the Apple logo in the menu to find it).

two. Click on ‘Software Update’.

3. Your computer will check for updates and show that an update is available for your Mac. Click ‘Update Now’ to download the installer for the new version of macOS.

Four. While the installer downloads, you’ll be able to continue using your Mac. Once the installer has downloaded, you can click to install the new version of the operating system.

5. If you’re ready to install, click ‘Continue’ (note that this may take some time, so finish what you have before proceeding with the installation).

6. Follow the instructions on the screen to finish installing the update. softwarewhich should take between half an hour and an hour, depending on your Mac’s specifications.

How to upgrade to macOS Monterey from High Sierra or earlier

If you are running High Sierra or earlier, follow these steps:

1. Launch the App Store on your Mac (click the blue icon containing a white A, or search by pressing ‘Space’ + ‘Command’ and typing “App Store”).

two. Search for macOS.

3. Click ‘Get’ (older versions of the App Store may have a download button).

Four. Fill in your Apple ID information if prompted.

5. The installer will begin to download. You can see how long it will take by looking at the bar below ‘Download’.

6. Once the setup file has downloaded, a window will appear on your Mac prompting you and asking you to continue. The installation file can be found under ‘Applications’ (although it will open automatically).

7. Fortunately, the download takes place in the background, so you can continue to work or browse the web during the process.

How long will the macOS update take?

When we first started downloading Big Sur, our Mac said it would take 10 hours to fully download the 11.98GB file, so be patient when installing Monterey, especially if the download is using a slow Wi-Fi network.

You may want to leave your Mac downloading the operating system update overnight. This is all before you start the installation, at which point you won’t even be able to use your Mac, which could take an hour.

How to update your current version of macOS on your Mac

If you want to update your Mac to the latest version of the system you currently have installed (not all models support Monterey), the method will vary depending on the version of macOS you’re currently running.

How to install a macOS Big Sur, Catalina, or Mojave update

Installing updates for macOS, once you’re running Big Sur, Catalina, or Mojave, is a bit different than before. Instead of opening the Mac App Store, you’ll need to do the following:

1. Open ‘System Preferences’.

two. Click on ‘Software Update’.

3. Then click the button to update the software if there is a new version available.

Four. You can also click on the Apple logo in the menu bar and select ‘Software Update’.

How to install a macOS update on High Sierra or earlier

If you’ve already installed the new version of macOS and just want to install the latest update for that softwareyou’ll find it in the updates tab of the Mac App Store.

1. Open the Mac App Store.

two. Click on ‘Updates’.

3. Click ‘Update’ next to the updates you want to install.

Four. If he software hasn’t downloaded yet (you can set it to do it automatically), it will download in the background.

5. Once you have downloaded the softwareyou’ll see a notification letting you know it’s ready to be installed.

6. Your Mac may notify you that it will restart before installing the update, so you can bet on putting off the update for a while.

7. When you’re ready to continue, click ‘Update Again’ and wait while your Mac restarts and installs the update.

8. Your Mac will shut down and the installation will begin; Note that this can take a while and there is no warning until it actually starts up again, a recent update can take up to 24 minutes, so don’t panic.

9. Once the installation is complete, your Mac will restart.