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.
System requirements for supported Apple Operating Systems
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.
Can your Mac run OS X Yosemite? Find out here
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.
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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. Let's hope that Apple eventually figures this out and starts giving users advanced warning and clearer notifications when they need to upgrade lest they put their digital safety at risk.
- Step 1: Download OS X Yosemite in the Apple App Store.
- Before You Upgrade To OS X Yosemite, Read This!
- OS X Yosemite: Upgrading to OS X Yosemite?
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As an aside, 1 in 7 Macs is a slight percentage decrease as compared with January when I last brought this up ; at that time 1 in 5 Macs were no longer getting security updates. The decreased percentage of unpatched or unpatchable Macs since then is likely due in part to fewer old Macs still being in use almost two years later, and many new Macs being sold in the mean time. Thank you. What are the system requirements? Which Macs support which features? On September 9, , Apple quietly noted that the ship date would be on September 30, , and issued a formal press release the day before.
In the original press release , Apple uses the word "refine" no less than five times and summarizes the operating system accordingly:.
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Photo Credit: Apple, Inc. Specific feature support varies, though. If you're not sure if your Mac will run OS X El Capitan, all of the supported systems can be identified by the above "subfamily" designations as well as by the Model Identifier in software. More details about specific identifiers are provided in EveryMac.
However, just because a Mac runs OS X El Capitan does not mean that it is compatible with all features , most notably the new "Metal" graphics performance technology. MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2. MacBook "Core M" 1. MacBook Air "Core 2 Duo" 1.
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MacBook Air "Core 2 Duo" 2. MacBook Air "Core i5" 1. MacBook Air "Core i7" 1. On a Mac, all of your system information is visible from the About This Mac window. In order for software to work, it must be compatible with the operating system; therefore, you may not be able to use all of your existing software if you switch to a different operating system.
Before you switch, ask yourself if there's any software that you can't do without. Then conduct some research to find out if it is compatible with Yosemite. If you are upgrading from an earlier version of OS X, most of your apps should still work. However, it's possible that some might not.
- How Do I Upgrade Mac OS?!
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- What to Do if Your Mac Can’t Run macOS Sierra | The Mac Security Blog.
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- How To Perform a Clean Install of OS X Yosemite On Your Mac the Right Way;
- Check your Mac hardware.
A simple Google search will often be enough to tell if an app will be compatible in Yosemite. However, not all software has a Mac version, and you may need to do some research to find out if there are Mac versions for your most important programs.
If you absolutely need to use PC software and there isn't a Mac version, you can use a feature called Boot Camp. You can then install any PC software you need. The main disadvantage of Boot Camp is that you have to restart your computer whenever you want to switch between OS X and Windows.