Speaking of compatibility, note that you can install MacOS High Sierra on any Mac introduced in the middle of 2010 or later, and on any MacBook or iMac introduced in late 2009 or later. Head here to see if your Mac qualifies.
Before we go any further, make sure you backup your files. For anything important that absolutely cannot be replaced, be sure you send it off to the cloud – Dropbox, iCloud, and OneDrive are great for this – or create a hard copy on a flash drive or external hard drive. While MacOS High Sierra went through numerous beta test phases to make sure it’s ready for prime time, every major update brings with it the risk of bugs that don’t show up until it hits widespread release. Backing up is a vital first step.
And that’s not just a measure for the abundantly cautious. It’s something that everyone needs to do before installing the MacOS High Sierra update, because it’s going to make some changes to your Mac’s file system. That means it’s going to be fiddling around with your hard drives, and how they store your files.
Install the MacOS High Sierra Update
Here’s the part where we beg you to back up your files again, because it’s your last chance before MacOS High Sierra starts performing surgery on your precious data.
Ready? All right, let’s do this.
First, make sure you have your Apple ID authentication information available — you’ll need that to kick off the update. Then, open the App Store on your Mac and head to the Featured page. You’ll see High Sierra as an available “app,” and of course it’ll be free to download and install. Just click on its icon to open the MacOS High Sierra page. You can also search the App Store for it.
Then, click on the Download button and wait.
Once your update is downloaded, tell the Mac App Store to install it by clicking on Continue. You’ll be asked to accept the license agreement, and then you’ll verify the disk where you want the update installed. Once you log in using an appropriate administrator account, you’ll be asked to restart your machine to get the update going. Note that you’ll need to close all applications first, so make sure everything is saved.
Now, let your Mac get to work. It’ll reboot itself, and apply the update, which can take quite a while depending on how old your Mac is. Even on a 2016 MacBook Pro, it took about 20 to 30 minutes to complete.
When it’s finished, your Mac will boot up into MacOS High Sierra, and all those new features will be at your disposal. It also comes with an awesome new wallpaper, so you can show off to your friends.
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