To get the latest features and maintain the security, stability, compatibility, and performance of your Mac, it's important to keep your software up to date. Apple recommends that you always use the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac.
Learn how to upgrade to macOS Big Sur, the latest version of macOS.
If a macOS installer can't be used on your Mac, the installer will let you know. For example, it might say that your Mac doesn't have enough free storage space for the installation, or that the installer is too old to be opened on this version of macOS.
If you want to check compatibility before downloading the installer, learn about the minimum requirements for macOS Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, or Yosemite. You can also check compatible operating systems on the product-ID page for MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook, iMac, Mac mini, or Mac Pro.
While the issue with Big Sur was live on 12 November Apple had the following text on the site indicating that there was a problem: 'Users may not be able to download macOS Software Updates on Mac. The AirPods Studio are Apple's rumored high-end over-ear headphones that are rumored to launch in early 2021 for $349. And can’t be used to install macOS.' $150 for 16-inch MacBook Pro.
Make a backup
Before installing, it’s a good idea to back up your Mac. Time Machine makes it simple, and other backup methods are also available. Learn how to back up your Mac.
Why Can't My Macbook Pro Update To High Sierra
It takes time to download and install macOS, so make sure that you're plugged into AC power and have a reliable internet connection.
These installers from the App Store open automatically after you download them:
- macOS Catalina 10.15 can upgrade Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks
- macOS Mojave 10.14 can upgrade High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion
- macOS High Sierra 10.13 can upgrade Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion
Your web browser downloads the following older installers as a disk image named InstallOS.dmg or InstallMacOSX.dmg. Open the disk image, then open the .pkg installer inside the disk image. It installs an app named Install [Version Name]. Open that app from your Applications folder to begin installing the operating system.
- macOS Sierra 10.12 can upgrade El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, or Lion
- OS X El Capitan 10.11 can upgrade Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion, or Snow Leopard
- OS X Yosemite 10.10can upgrade Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion, or Snow Leopard
Follow the onscreen instructions in the installer. It might be easiest to begin installation in the evening so that it can complete overnight, if needed.
If the installer asks for permission to install a helper tool, enter the administrator name and password that you use to log in to your Mac, then click Add Helper.
Please allow installation to complete without putting your Mac to sleep or closing its lid. Your Mac might restart, show a progress bar, or show a blank screen several times as it installs both macOS and related updates to your Mac firmware.
You might also be able to use macOS Recovery to reinstall the macOS you're using now, upgrade to the latest compatible macOS, or install the macOS that came with your Mac.
Performing an El Capitan-to-Sierra upgrade is easy. Although it does not come like a push-one-button-and-proceed method, the truth is it’s quite close.
Requirements for Upgrading from El Capitan to Sierra
Before we proceed with our step-by-step guide, allow us to answer an important question that some Mac users have in mind: “Can an old Mac still upgrade to Sierra?”
The answer is, of course, a YES. However, there are a few minimum requirements that need to be met, such as the following:
- 2 GB RAM
- 8 GB Storage Space
- Mac Models: Late 2009 iMac, 2009 MacBook, 2010 MacBook Pro, 2010 MacBook Air, 2010 Mac Mini, 2010 Mac Pro
Why Won't My Mac Download High Sierra
Once you are certain that your Mac has met the requirements above, make sure you have backed up your Mac. This backup will come in handy in case something comes up in the process of upgrading to High Sierra.
Upgrading from El Capitan to Sierra
After backing up your Mac’s important files and folders, it’s time to get started. Here’s how to upgrade from El Capitan to Sierra.
1. Download High Sierra from the App Store.
High Sierra is available for download from the App Store. To get it, follow these steps:
- Open the Mac App Store by simply clicking on the App Store icon in the dock.
- Navigate to the Featured tab.
- Find macOS Sierra in the rightmost column and click on it.
- Click Download.
- At this point, the download will start. It may take long, especially if it’s your first time accessing the App Store. Just be patient.
- Once the download is completed, the installer should launch automatically.
2. Start the Upgrade.
With the High Sierra installer ready, it’s time to actually install it. Here’s how:
- The High Sierra installer should now be open on your Mac. If you have accidentally quit it, you can restart it by going to the Applications folder and double-clicking on the installer.
- Click Continue to proceed.
- Press on the Agree button to agree with the software licensing terms and agreements flashed on your screen.
- Click on the Agree button again to verify your action.
- Hit Install.
- A new dialog box will pop up, requiring you to input your administrator password. Provide that information and click Add Helper.
- The High Sierra installer will begin copying the system files to the new target drive. The progress will show in a new window.
- As soon as all the system files are copied, your Mac will automatically reboot. Don’t panic if the restart process takes a while. It only means your Mac is coping with the installation process.
3. Utilize the Setup Assistant to Complete the Installation.
Your Mac should already be finished with the basic installation process. The next thing you should do is run the Setup Assistant to configure some important macOS High Sierra options and settings.
Take note, though, that if your Mac is configured to ask for your login details, a normal login window will show. Provide your login credentials so you can proceed with the following steps:
- The Setup Assistant starts off by asking you for your Apple ID details. If you wish to leave everything as it is, click the Set Up Later option.
- Let the Setup Assistant configure all vital services that need your Apple ID credentials. Simply provide your Apple ID password and hit Continue.
- Click Agree if you agree with the Terms and Conditions flashed on your screen.
- You will be asked to verify your action again. To continue, click Agree again.
- The Setup Assistant should then continue with configuring your iCloud account information. It will also ask you whether you want to set up iCloud Keychain. You can just skip it to avoid confusing yourself.
- Next, there will be options displayed on your screen regarding how you wish to use iCloud for storing images and documents. Choose which of them apply to you by clicking on the boxes next to each one of them:
- Store Files from Documents and Desktop in iCloud Drive – This option will allow you to automatically upload files from your Desktop and Documents folder to your iCloud Drive. Be mindful, though, that Apple only offers a limited amount of storage space for free users. If all this free space is exhausted, you will be asked to purchase additional storage.
- Store Photos and Videos in iCloud Photo Library – This will let you upload videos and images from your Photo Library to iCloud. As with the first option, you have to remember that you only have limited free storage space.
- Hit Continue.
- Wait for the Setup Assistant to finish the setup process.
- You will know when it’s done because you will be taken to your desktop.
We hope you found this guide useful. But before you download macOS Sierra and perform an upgrade, do not forget to clean up your Mac with a reliable Mac repair tool first. This way, you can ensure that nothing comes your way and keeps you from making the most of High Sierra.
Did we miss some important steps above? Do you know other, easier methods to upgrade from El Capitan from Sierra? We’d love to know. Comment on them below!