Installing macOS upgrades

Apple releases major macOS upgrades annually, bringing hundreds of new features to your Mac. Apple’s tight integration between hardware, OS & apps means it’s vital to keep up-to-date. Upgrades are free, and most users upgrade quickly. You’ll need to have the latest macOS to use many new business & creative apps, as well as full compatibility with iPhone & iPad. Learn more about the latest macOS features.

Before you upgrade macOS

  1. Check your backup. It’s Step 1 before any upgrade. Click Back Up Now. Set up Time Machine backups if they’re not configured.
  2. Click the Apple menu and choose About This Mac.
  3. Make sure your Mac is compatible. Almost all Macs sold after late 2009 are supported. We highly recommend a 2012 or newer Mac for any purpose. See details.
  4. Check Memory. You’ll need at least 4 GB of RAM. Working with large graphics or video? You should have at least 8 GB. We can upgrade some Macs for less than $150.
  5. Click Storage. Make a note of the free space on your drive. You’ll need at least 12 GB of free space, although you’ll get most of it back after macOS is installed.
  6. Upgrade Adobe and Microsoft apps. Make sure you’re on the latest Adobe Creative Cloud ($50/month) or Microsoft Office 365 ($7/month), or consider less-expensive alternatives. Using Parallels Desktop? You’ll need the latest patch for version 11 (or upgrade to Parallels 12 for $50).
  7. Look for updates in the App Store.
  8. Update all the other apps on your Mac. Click for instructions. If there’s an app you just can’t live without, go to the developer’s website to make sure it’s compatible with the newest OS.
  9. Find a good time and place for the upgrade. You’ll want to take advantage of the fastest internet and make plenty of time for the download. If your office has an Apple server this may speed up the process.
  10. Or have Creative Tech Support do it for you. Our standard macOS upgrade is just $110, including software & labor. We’ll make sure your hardware & software are ready. And we’ll come prepared with the latest macOS and all update patches, saving you hours of downloads per Mac. Then we'll install our set of apps, internet plug-ins and other utilities, and make sure everything works correctly.

Installing macOS upgrades

  1. Open the App Store from the dock or the Apple menu.
  2. Click the Store menu and verify the current store Apple ID. We recommend using the same Apple ID for purchases on all computers & devices in a household or workgroup (or use Family Sharing). Sign out and sign in with another Apple ID if necessary.
  3. Search for macOS Sierra. If you don’t find it easily, click this link.
  4. Click macOS Sierra, then click Download or Free Upgrade. Sierra is over 4.75 GB and may take 20 minutes to a few hours, depending on internet speed. When the download is complete the installer opens. At that point, you can quit the installer and install at a more convenient time if you like.
  5. Click the Launcher and open Install macOS Sierra if it isn’t already open.
  6. Follow the steps on the screen to install. You’ll need an administrator password.
  7. The computer reboots and installs. You can’t use the computer during installation, which takes 25–45 minutes.
  8. Click the App Store and click Updates. There may be additional updates to install for compatibility with the new system.


Now you’re ready to explore the new macOS features!

Learn more about buying & installing software.

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