MacOS High Sierra is now available as the latest Mac system software update from Apple, but instead of jumping right into the installation process you might want to take a few moments to properly prepare for the macOS High Sierra operating system update.
We’ll review a few simple steps you can take before diving into macOS High Sierra. Let’s begin!
Should you update to macOS High Sierra now? Or wait?
Many users wonder if they should update to macOS High Sierra right away. Some people will immediately jump to downloading and installing the update, and others may wait a while. There’s no right or wrong answer to this question and it’s largely a matter of personal preference and individual requirements. With that said, if your Mac is working fine for you as it is right now, there is little rush to update.
The advantage to installing right away is you’ll get access to the latest features and security updates available in macOS High Sierra.
The potential disadvantage of installing High Sierra right away is the small chance that something could go wrong, or perhaps something may not work as planned after updating. Software update problems can lead to troubleshooting and annoyance, and if you don’t have the time in your day to troubleshoot a potential headache or restore from a Time Machine backup, then perhaps waiting until you do have more time available for potential troubleshooting would be warranted.
Some Mac users will also choose to wait until a particular point release update is issued, which is likely to be versioned as macOS High Sierra 10.13.1, 10.13.2, 10.13.3, etc. That approach is sound, as point release software updates typically include bug fixes and compatibility improvements to issues encountered by users.
Considering APFS, the new file system
The new APFS file system is said to improve performance, but in some situations it can reduce compatibility with older Macs or older Mac system software versions.
Drives and devices formatted to HFS+ (the longstanding Mac file system) can be read and written to by hardware formatted to APFS. However, drives formatted to APFS can only be read and written to by other devices also using APFS, or with other Macs using HFS+ but they must be running High Sierra. You can learn more about APFS compatibility with file sharing, boot camp, File Vault, Time Machine, and external volumes, here on Apple.com.
Check Compatibility with High Sierra
If the Mac can run MacOS Sierra, then that same Mac can also run MacOS High Sierra.
That includes most Mac, MacBook Pro, and iMac released from 2010 onward, but a few late 2009 iMac and MacBook machines also make the cut. You can see the complete list of MacOS High Sierra compatible Macs here if you are not sure, including directions on how to check your Mac model year for compatibility.
Beyond basic system compatibility, you’ll want to be sure your Mac has at least 10GB of storage free to be able to download and install the software update.
Backup the Mac more important than ever
Perhaps the most important element in preparing for macOS High Sierra is having a complete backup of the Mac. Installation problems are rare, but if they do happen often the only resolution is to format the computer and restore from a backup.
Failure to backup a Mac could result in permanent data loss of anything or everything on the computer.
You can use whatever backup approach you want, but using Time Machine is recommended because it is easy to setup and configure, simple to use, and allows for easy automated Mac backups. All you need is an external hard drive. If you are not regularly backing up your Mac with Time Machine yet, you should start doing so anyway, but it’s absolutely critical to backup before installing MacOS High Sierra.
Do not skip backing up the Mac before installing MacOS High Sierra.
Ready to go? Download and Update to High Sierra
If you’re ready to install macOS 10.13 and you have backed up your Mac, then you can
download macOS High Sierra now via the Mac App Store.
Once the installer has downloaded, it will launch automatically where you can install the software update.
The installation should go seamlessly and without a hitch, but should anything go wrong you should be able to easily recover by restoring from a Time Machine backup made prior to the installation.
Whether you’re installing macOS High Sierra right away, or waiting a bit,