How to Install New macOS 11 Big Sur on Your Mac

After a lot of waiting and anticipation, we finally got a definite release date for macOS Big Sur: November 12. On November 10, Apple streamed the “One More Thing” event. As expected, the company revealed the release date for its brand-new operating system.

More or less, users already know what to expect. Beta testers have shared their praise and criticism regarding Big Sur. They did discover some issues, but they weren’t serious. If you want to be fully prepared for potential problems before the installation process, check out this guide on how to fix macOS Big Sur issues:

Are you ready for the big day?

We’ll give you instructions on how to install the latest operating system for your Mac.

Tips: How to Download and Install macOS Big Sur


1.  Make Sure the New Operating System Is Compatible with Your Machine

Apple provides a clear list of computers that can run the new operating system. Make sure to check if your Mac belongs to that list before you attempt to download the software:

  • MacBook (from 2015 and on)
  • MacBook Air (from 2013 and on)
  • MacBook Pro (from late 2013 and on)
  • Mac mini (from 2014 and on)
  • Mac Pro (from 2013 and on)
  • iMac Pro (from 2017 and on)
  • iMac (from 2014 and on)

In comparison, macOS Catalina was compatible with Mac mini and iMac from 2012, as well as with MacBook Pro and Air from mid-2012. Those computers can no longer run new operating systems. If you own one of those, you’ll be stuck with Catalina.

2. Back It Up

Before downloading and installing a brand-new operating system, you have to back up all important files stored on your computer. You can get them on the cloud or on an external hard disk.

If the process goes well, you won’t lose any data even if it’s not backed up. But things can go wrong. In that case, you’re putting valuable documents at risk.

Even Apple’s official website recommends back-ups before installing any upgrade.

3. Make Sure Your Connection Is Stable

The download and installation process will take some time. It needs a stable Internet connection with no interruptions. It’s also important to plug in your notebook into AC power.

4. Find the Upgrade in System Preferences

When macOS Big Sur becomes available, you will get a notification that the operating system needs an update. If you miss it somehow, don’t worry! You will easily find it:

  • Go to the Apple menu and choose System Preferences
  • Find the Software Update options and click on it

You’ll see the file, and all you need to do is download it. When Big Sur becomes available, Apple will provide an official link to the App Store for it. That’s another way to get the upgrade, but it’s much easier when you do it through System Preferences.

5. The Installation Process May Begin

Once the file is downloaded, you’ll immediately see the installer window on your Mac. If you’re sure that you want to upgrade, click Continue and go along with the entire process.

We have to warn you again: this usually takes some time. It’s not wise to start the installation process when you have work to do. It’s best to initiate it in the evening and allow your computer to handle the task overnight. If you want to monitor the process, do it on a weekend or whenever you don’t need your Mac to be operational.

Remember: you should not unplug your Mac, put it to sleep, or close its lid during the installation process. Be ready to see the progress bar, one or more restarts, and several blank screen situations during the installation. It’s all normal.

Your Mac Can Automatically Handle Updates

Big Sur will get several updates after you install it. To make sure these updates install overnight without any effort on your side, you should check if the preference is enabled. To do that, go to System Preferences and choose Software Update. Check the box that says “Automatically keep my Mac up to date.”

We’re so lucky that Apple makes things easy for its users! Now, all we have to do is install Big Sur and see how it works.

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