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New to the macOS? Start here

There are many reasons why people buy Apple products. But Macs do not come with an instruction manual, if they come with anything at all. In fact they come with less and less as time has gone by.

While many of us feel macOS is designed so well that it is self documenting, not all users have an easy time.

Mac owners who want a resource to get them over the initial speed bumps or solve some problem will, I hope, find the information below helpful.

And don't forget, you can always ask MacGuru it you can't find and answer below.

Requirements to be able to run macOS "El Capitan" (macOS 10.11)

Requirements to be able to run "macOS Sierra" (macOS 10.12)

Requirements to be able to run "macOS High Sierra" (macOS 10.13)


Update Procedure for the Paranoid

If you believe that Murphy was an optimist then the following is for you.

Let me say again that this is not a "requirement" BUT if you have been having problems (there are never any problems with a Mac are there?) or if want to be sure of not loosing anything and being able to restore your old OS then this should give you the best chance.

At a minimum I would have a full backup before any "major" upgrade (i.e., 10.1x to 10.13). But all of you are backing up all the time already using Time Machine, right? If you are running macOS and Time Machine you have macOS Recovery built in. However, macOS Recovery will ERASE your disk before it runs. Time Machine does not back up your entire hard drive but Carbon Copy Cloner does. Accept no substitutes.

So here goes:

  1. Make sure you have a backup.
  2. Resolve any problems you have been having. If you are having major problems with your current OS installation, try addressing them first. (Reinstall for your current version of macOS is one way of doing this.) While OS updates can be the solution to many problems, if you are having major stability problems (i.e., random crashes, odd noises, inability to authenticate) then be sure to address them before applying the update.
  3. Run Disk Utility and select "First Aid." (If you are running older version of macOS you will see a different interface and you should select "First Aid.")
  4. Run the macOS installer from Apple's site. Or run the installer from the App Store (updates) under the Apple menu.
  5. After the reboot check the App Store (updates) to see if there are any more updates.
  6. Run Disk Utility and select "First Aid."
  7. DONE!

NOTE: It is more than likely that the new install will reset some settings and files back to "factory" defaults. This will require you to reconfigure those settings. (i.e., New major versions of macOS ALWAYS overwrite the httpd.conf file. So if you use your Mac as a server you should make a copy of this file before you update.)