MacOS Catalina - the new Mac operating system software - arrived in October 2019. Find out what you need to know, from whether you should install Catalina on your Mac, what new features it brings.
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macOS Catalina gives you more of everything you love about Mac. Experience music, TV, and podcasts in three all-new Mac apps. Enjoy your favorite iPad apps now on your Mac. Extend your workspace and expand your creativity with iPad and Apple Pencil. And discover smart new features in the apps you use every day. Now you can take everything you do above and beyond.
If you're using one of these computers with OS X Mavericks or later,* you can install macOS Catalina. Your Mac also needs at least 4GB of memory and 12.5GB of available storage space, or up to 18.5GB of storage space when upgrading from OS X Yosemite or earlier.
MacBook introduced in 2015 or later
MacBook Air introduced in 2012 or later
MacBook Pro introduced in 2012 or later
Mac mini introduced in 2012 or later
iMac introduced in 2012 or later
iMac Pro (all models)
Mac Pro introduced in 2013 or later
* To upgrade from Lion or Mountain Lion, first upgrade to El Capitan, then upgrade to Catalina. To find your macOS version, Mac model, memory, and storage space, choose About This Mac from the Apple menu . If your Mac isn't compatible with macOS Catalina, the installer will let you know. View the complete list of compatible computers.
Make a backup
Before installing any upgrade, 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.
It takes time to download and install macOS, so make sure that you have a reliable Internet connection. If you're using a Mac notebook computer, plug it into AC power.
Download macOS Catalina
If you're using macOS Mojave, get macOS Catalina via Software Update: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Software Update.
Or use this link to open the macOS Catalina page on the App Store: Get macOS Catalina. Then click the Get button or iCloud download icon.
After downloading, the installer opens automatically.
Click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions. You might find it 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.
Allow installation to complete
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.
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Stay up to date
After installing macOS Catalina, you will be notified when updates to macOS Catalina are available. You can also use Software Update to check for updates: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Software Update.
Or get macOS Catalina automatically
If you're using OS X El Capitan v10.11.5 or later and your App Store preferences or Software Update preferences are set to download new updates when available, macOS Catalina will download conveniently in the background, making it even easier to upgrade. A notification will inform you when macOS Catalina is ready to be installed. Click Install to get started, or dismiss the notification to install later. When you're ready to install, just open the file named Install macOS Catalina from your Applications folder.
- If the installer shows a list of apps that are not optimized for your Mac, learn about 32-bit app compatibility, then choose whether to proceed with the installation.
- For the strongest security and latest features, upgrade to macOS Catalina. If you have hardware or software that isn't compatible with Catalina, you might be able to install an earlier macOS, such as Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, or El Capitan.
- You can also use macOS Recovery to reinstall macOS.
How to get updates for macOS Mojave or later
If you've upgraded to macOS Mojave or later, follow these steps to keep it up to date:
- Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu , then click Software Update to check for updates.
- If any updates are available, click the Update Now button to install them. Or click ”More info” to see details about each update and select specific updates to install.
- When Software Update says that your Mac is up to date, the installed version of macOS and all of its apps are also up to date. That includes Safari, iTunes, Books, Messages, Mail, Calendar, Photos, and FaceTime.
Software Update For Mac Mini
To find updates for iMovie, Garageband, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and other apps that were downloaded separately from the App Store, open the App Store on your Mac, then click the Updates tab.
To automatically install macOS updates in the future, including apps that were downloaded separately from the App Store, select ”Automatically keep my Mac up to date.” Your Mac will notify you when updates require it to restart, so you can always choose to install those later.
How to get updates for earlier macOS versions
If you're using an earlier macOS, such as macOS High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, or earlier,* follow these steps to keep it up to date:
- Open the App Store app on your Mac.
- Click Updates in the App Store toolbar.
- Use the Update buttons to download and install any updates listed.
- When the App Store shows no more updates, the installed version of macOS and all of its apps are up to date. That includes Safari, iTunes, iBooks, Messages, Mail, Calendar, Photos, and FaceTime. Later versions may be available by upgrading your macOS.
To automatically download updates in the future, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click App Store, then select ”Download newly available updates in the background.” Your Mac will notify you when updates are ready to install.
* If you're using OS X Lion or Snow Leopard, get OS X updates by choosing Apple menu > Software Update.
How to get updates for iOS
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- Learn how to upgrade to the latest version of macOS.
- Find out which macOS your Mac is using.
- You can redownload apps that you previously downloaded from the App Store.
- Your Mac doesn't automatically download large updates when it's using a Personal Hotspot.