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The general minimum requirements call for 2GB of memory, 8GB of available storage, and an Internet connection for some features. As for available storage space, 8GB is enough to run the installer, but more is always better. Here are some tips for freeing up storage space.
Desktop application support | Mac OS X 10.6
You can do this by clicking on the Apple icon in the upper left of the menu bar and selecting Software Update your Mac needs to be connected to the Internet. The reason why you need at least Snow Leopard The App Store requires Snow Leopard After you upgrade, you can then upgrade to El Capitan by using the App Store online.
This is a good opportunity to check the health of your storage device. Then click Verify Disk.
The Steps for Upgrading to Mac OS X El 10.11 Capitan
Any problems require you to boot from a different startup volume in order to make repairs. Lion Recovery in Lion by holding down Command-R at startup. You can then use Disk Utility to repair your storage device. Snow Leopard users can use the installation disc as a boot drive and run Disk Utility. To perform a more thorough examination of your Mac hardware, you can run Apple Diagnostics for Macs released on or after June or Apple Hardware Test for Macs released before June If you find a problem using these tests, you may need to see a Genius at your local Apple Store.
So first update the apps you use most often, and then you can update the other apps when you have the time.
You can use Time Machine or a third-party backup app, or you can clone your storage device using a utility like SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner. A clone is what it sounds like, an exact copy of your drive, so you can use it as a boot drive if the situation warrants it. Apple recently released a new version of its Mac operating system, macOS Sierra version Certain older Mac models are still limited to Lion Some early Intel Macs released in are stuck with Snow Leopard Moreover, many third parties have stopped releasing software updates compatible with older operating systems.
For example, the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox won't run on anything older than Mavericks. For now, Flash and Java also officially support Mavericks and later. Browsers and plugins are commonly exploited as a means of infecting computers, so it's critical that these programs—along with the operating systems that run them—stay up to date.
It's important to note that XProtect updates, while better than nothing, are by themselves insufficient to adequately protect your Mac. Keeping up with the latest macOS updates and using third-party antivirus and security software might we recommend some? Apple does not make any public statements concerning how long it will continue to release XProtect updates, let alone security patches, for any particular Apple software or operating system. While Microsoft publicly announces its support timetables for Windows and other software, and the Ubuntu Linux company Canonical does likewise, Apple has never given any official notice regarding how long each version of macOS or iOS will continue to receive security updates.
Apple has not previously responded to press inquiries about this subject. The good news is that most new Macs sold within the past several years can be upgraded to Sierra. Following is the list of Macs that can run Sierra, the current and best-supported version of macOS.
Mac OS X v Snow Leopard - Technical Specifications
If your Mac is older than the ones listed directly below, read on for suggestions about what you can do to upgrade to an operating system that's still getting security patches. Those who are unsure which Mac model they own may find EveryMac and apple-history to be useful sites.
If you have a compatible Mac with a version of OS X that predates Lion for example, Snow Leopard , you will need to download Sierra on another compatible Mac with Lion or later, create a bootable Sierra flash drive or external hard drive using Apple's official instructions or the third-party tool DiskMaker X , and do a clean install overwriting the hard drive on your Mac—so be sure to carefully back up all of your files first. An alternative solution for upgrading a compatible Mac from Snow Leopard to Sierra is to first upgrade to your choice of Lion through El Capitan if you happen to have a bootable installer from one of those versions of macOS handy, or if you're able to download one from the Purchased section of the App Store and use DiskMaker X to create a bootable installer , and then do a second upgrade from that macOS version to Sierra.
Taking this upgrade path will allow you to preserve your hard drive's contents. If your Mac can't run Sierra, there's still a decent chance that it can run the previous version of macOS, El Capitan, which may continue to receive security updates from Apple for another year or two. If your Mac is currently running Mountain Lion, Mavericks, or Yosemite, then it definitely meets the minimum system requirements for running El Capitan and it might even be Sierra-capable; refer to the previous section. If your Mac isn't new enough to run Sierra or even El Capitan, then, unfortunately, it will no longer receive much support from Apple.
Sadly, Apple doesn't give users any direct warning when their operating system or Mac is no longer supported. Worse, when users check the App Store for updates or on older Macs when users run Software Update , it misleadingly tells them, "No Updates Available" or "Your software is up to date. This didn't just happen once ; it has happened again and again. Universal binary malware can run on old Macs, too. Image credit: Kaspersky.
While Apple boasts about the extremely high percentage of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices that are rapidly upgraded to each major new version of iOS, such is not necessarily the case with Macs and OS X. Based on the newly released Net Applications data for November , it appears that Sierra has been installed on nearly one third of the Macs that were used for Web browsing last month. Meanwhile, El Capitan, which has been out for over a year and is still being supported, is currently tied with Sierra at one third of the Mac market share, and Yosemite is in third place at just over one-fifth of the active installed base.
All older versions of OS X, though, together comprise more than In other words, about 1 in every 7 Macs in use today is no longer getting security updates. This makes non-upgraded or non-upgradeable Macs a potentially significant target roughly 20 to 30 million computers for criminals interested in infecting a large quantity of devices. Anyone still using a Mac that cannot be upgraded to Sierra, or at least El Capitan, should strongly consider buying new hardware if they can afford it.
If you have an older Intel Mac, you have several options. One solution is to set up Boot Camp and install Windows to use as your Mac's primary operating system.
At the time of this writing, If you can't afford to buy a brand new Mac, but you do have a little bit of money to spend, you can shop around for used Macs. If you know a Mac user who's still running an older version of OS X , do them a favor and check to see whether their Mac is capable of running macOS Sierra. If so, help them upgrade. If not, let them know it's time to strongly consider getting a newer computer. Of course, informing users about software and hardware that will no longer receive security updates should be primarily Apple's responsibility—not merely that of security researchers, security blogs, or blog readers.