Go to Software Update in System Preferences to find macOS Big Sur. Click Upgrade Now and follow the onscreen instructions. Upgrading from an older version of macOS? If you’re running any release from macOS 10.13 to 10.9, you can upgrade to macOS Big Sur from the App Store. Make sure any documents you are working on are saved, you will need to close programs and reboot to complete the upgrade. Select the Apple menu, then select App Store. Select the Search bar, type mojave, and press Return on your keyboard. FileVault is a security feature that can help prevent unauthorized access to the data on your Mac’s startup disk. However, it can occasionally interfere with your macOS updates, as it may enter a loop where it tries to apply encryption to your updated OS. When updating macOS, it may help to disable FileVault.
Many people remember Mac OS X 10.6.8 fondly. Not just 10.6 Snow Leopard, but particularly its very mature 10.6.8 release, the final one in that series. It’s considered a stable and perfectly fine version. It’s not a problem—until they want to mitgrate to a newer computer with the same files, preferences, users, and other elements as their current one. That’s particularly true when they want to keep their system and essentially brain transplant it to the latest two updates, macOS Catalina and Big Sur, and find there’s no direct path.
Apple offers Migration Assistant both when setting up a Mac (whether new or erased) and as an app within macOS, particularly to migrate user accounts and applications. As a source, you can use a Time Machine backup, a disk image copy of your macOS startup volume (via a cloning app, for instance), or another Mac.
But Migration Assistant has its limits: in Catalina and Big Sur, you must migrate from a backup made from or a computer running Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan or later. Attempts to copy from older installations lead to an error.
However, you’re not stuck. You have several alternatives you can try.
Upgrade past 10.6.8
It may seem like a pain, but if you have a computer that can be upgraded to 10.11 El Capitan or later, that’s your best bet. This list of models from One World Computing will help you figure out if your Mac can be upgraded that far. It covers years of Mac releases. (No Macs that can run Snow Leopard can be upgraded to Catalina or Big Sur, which would solve the problem, too.)
Apple has instructions on installing a terminal release of Mac OS X or macOS for its old computers.
Once upgraded to El Capitan or later, you can then run Migration Assistant to transfer data to Catalina or Big Sur.
Directv hbo max. If your computer’s last OS option isn’t El Capitan, read on.
Copy just the user directory
When spanning such a long gap between releases, you may not need applications or any settings files—you just want to transfer all your document, pictures, and other personal files. In that case, you can use these directions in a Mac 911 column from last year. While that article was written to help you overcome a Migration Assistant failure, it also works when Migration Assistant can’t.
Each of the techniques in that article lets you move the files you need over to a new Mac. The options vary by what your older system is capable of and the level of technical detail you want to cope with.
Updating Mac Os System
Install an older Mac OS on an external drive for migration
If the Mac you’re upgrading to (not from) is in the right range of vintages, you can do the following:
- Install Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan on an external drive. (Download El Capitan from Apple’s site.) El Capitan seems to be the last release that can migrate files from Snow Leopard.
- Use the Startup Disk preference pane to select that external drive and restart.
- Use Migration Assistant during setup or after setting up on the external drive to transfer data from your Snow Leopard Mac.
- Use Startup Disk to restart with your newer Mac’s intended startup volume.
- Now run Migration Assistant pointing to the external drive.
If you don’t own a Mac that can install El Capitan, you might be able to borrow such a machine from someone and use the same external drive approach that won’t affect the startup drive of their system.
This Mac 911 article is in response to a question submitted by Macworld reader Balthasar.
Ask Mac 911
We’ve compiled a list of the questions we get asked most frequently along with answers and links to columns: read our super FAQ to see if your question is covered. If not, we’re always looking for new problems to solve! Email yours to [email protected] screen captures as appropriate, and whether you want your full name used. Not every question will be answered, we don’t reply to email, and we cannot provide direct troubleshooting advice.
Updating Mac Os Lion To Sierra
Use Software Update
- 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. You might be asked to enter your administrator password.
- 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, Music, Photos, Books, Messages, Mail, Calendar, and FaceTime.
- To automatically install future updates, including for apps that you got 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.
Update the software on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
Learn how to update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to the latest version of iOS or iPadOS.
- Learn how to get updates for earlier versions of macOS that don't include Software Update preferences.
- You can also use the App Store to update apps or redownload apps that came from the App Store.
- Learn which macOS your Mac is using and how to upgrade to the latest macOS.
- When your Mac is connected to a Personal Hotspot, large updates don't download automatically.