November 2020 was a special month for Mac users. They finally got a chance to install a significantly different operating system on their computers. Big Sur still feels comfortable, since it grew out of Catalina. But it has plenty of new features that make it feel more modern and user-friendly.
The greatest change is that this operating system borrows many of its features from the iOS environment. Due to the massive changes, it got the number 11 instead of 10.16.
Although Apple didn’t save its words of praise for the new macOS, many users are still hesitant to install it. They wait until a bigger part of the user community has it, so they can rely on people’s recommendations and warnings. Before installing the upgrade, we recommend you to go through a recent (and detailed) macOS Big Sur review. It gives you all the information you need to make a decision: will you be upgrading soon or should you wait for a while longer?
If you decided to install Big Sur, you need specific steps that will guide you through the process. That’s what we’re here for today.
Steps: How to Install the Brand New macOS Big Sur
- Check If Your Mac Can Run It
If you bought your computer before 2013, it won’t support Big Sur for sure. Apple gave us a detailed list of Macs that can run macOS 11:
- 2013 and later MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or Mac Pro,
- 2014 and later Mac Mini or iMac
- 2015 and mater MacBook
- 2017 and later iMac Pro
If your computer’s model is compatible, you can proceed with the following steps for installation.
2. Check the Compatibility of Third-Party Software
Network monitoring and security protection programs are affected by the upgrade. If you use any antivirus, VPN, or firewall, you must upgrade it to its latest version before installing Big Sur. If the apps are not updated, you might not be able to access them after the upgrade.
You should also make sure that the latest drivers for your printer and other hardware are compatible with the new macOS.
You don’t need to be worried about software that’s been developed and actively maintained by Apple. It will work after the upgrade. But get informed about all third-party apps you’re using. If your work depends on some of them and it’s not ready for the new operating system, it’s best to stay with Catalina for a while longer.
3. Back It Up
Apple recommends you to back up your Mac before installing Big Sure. The process shouldn’t cause any loss of data. However, the fact that you’re making a significant change to your computer is risky, so it’s best to stay safe by performing a back-up. You can use your Mac’s Time Machine feature to do this.
- Connect an external hard disk to your computer
- Find Time Machine under System Preferences
- Turn on the slider for Time Machine
- Choose the external hard disk under Select Backup Disk
It will take some time for the backup to be completed, so stay patient.
4. Download Big Sur
You can download the file from the Mac App Store, but it’s easier to do it through System Preferences. You’ll immediately see the Download button there.
This is a large file, so you have to show some patience. We highly recommend downloading and installing the upgrade over the weekend or during any day when you’re not supposed to work on your computer. It might take several hours, so you’ll be very frustrated if your work suffers because of this process.
5. Install Big Sur
Once macOS Big Sur is done downloading, you’ll see the installation window. From this point, you’ll only need to follow the suggested steps. Click on Continue, and agree to the Terms and Conditions. After that, click Install and follow the instructions that appear in the window.
The installation process is shorter than the download, but it still takes some time. Grab a cup of coffee and give your computer the space it needs. Don’t put your computer to sleep or close its lid during the installation. It should also be plugged in.
For a moment, you’ll feel like you got a brand-new computer. Big Sur feels completely new. Some users are frustrated by the changes, but that always happens. In most cases, they get used to the new environment pretty quickly. Your Mac will still be user-friendly; even more than before. Explore the new features and enjoy!