How to Update macOS Big Sur & Download, Simple!


How to Update macOS Big Sur & Download, Simple!


This article we explain how to update and Download macOS Big Sur on your Mac – and what you should do before clicking the install button. How to update MacOS is easier, free, and doesn't take much time, but there are a few things we recommend you do first to set up your Mac. If you haven't updated to macOS Catalina, read on to find out how to update to macOS Catalina or Mojave from High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, or even an older version of Mac OS X.

How to Update macOS Big Sur from Catalina or Mojave

If you have Mojave or Catalina installed on your Mac, updates will be visible through Software updates, and a notification that an update is available.

  • Open System Preferences (you can click on the Apple logo in the menu to find it).
  • Click Software Update.
  • Your computer checks for updates, and indicates that an update is available for your Mac. Click Upgrade Now to download the installer for the new version of macOS.
  • While the installer is downloading, you can still use your Mac. Once the installer has finished downloading, you can click to install the new version of the OS – but be careful that your Mac will temporarily stop working when the software is installed.

Update Big Sur from High Sierra or earlier

If you're running High Sierra or an earlier version, you need to do the following:

  • Launch the App Store on your Mac (click on the blue icon that contains the white A, or search by pressing the spacebar + command and typing app store).
  • Search for macOS.
  • Click Get (Older app stores may have a Download button).
  • Fill in your Apple ID information if prompted.
  • The installer will start downloading, you can see how long it will take if you look at the bar under Downloading.
  • Once the installer file has finished downloading, a window will appear on your Mac notifying you and asking you to Continue... The Installer file can be found in the Application (but it will open automatically).
  • Luckily the download process happens in the background, so you can continue working or browsing the website.

Want to know where you can find Big Sur on the Mac App Store? You can download MacOS Big Sur HERE.

MacOS Big Sur update process

When we started downloading Big Sur, the Mac said it would take 10 hours to download a 12.18 GB file, so be prepared to wait a while especially if you are on a weak Wi-Fi network. You can let your Mac download big sur OS updates overnight. Now that you have the installation file, we will explain how to install Big Sur next step.

How to install macOS Big Sur

Once the installer has finished downloading (as described above), you're ready to install the macOS Big Sur software on your Mac.

  1. After the installer file is downloaded, you'll see a window pop up on your Mac asking you to start the installation process.
  2. If you're ready to install, click Continue (be careful as this can take a long time, so resolve anything that can't wait before resuming the installation).
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation of the software update, which will take about half an hour to an hour depending on the specifications of your Mac.

How to prepare your Mac for OS updates

We usually recommend that you don't go right in and install new software directly – which we mean as soon as Apple releases it. Regardless of how rigorous Apple's testing process is, there must be a problem with the download in the early days. And even if there are no problems, many times Apple's servers are overloaded because everyone is rushing for updates and it can really slow down the process. So we recommend that you do some hearth and preparation in advance.

However, there are a few things that need to be checked before you download a new version of the Mac operating system. Here are the steps you need to take when you update your Mac to the latest version of macOS. We discuss each step in more detail below.
  1. Find the version of macOS you need.
  2. Check if your Mac supports macOS Big Sur
  3. Make sure you have enough space on your Mac. The installation file for big sur beta is 10GB!
  4. Backup your Mac.
  5. Make sure your Mac doesn't get an error.
  6. Sign in to iCloud.
  7. Make sure you're on a fast and trusted network.
  8. Update to the latest version of your current version of macOS.
  9. Download macOS from the Mac App Store.
  10. Install macOS on your Mac.

Find the version of macOS you need

The first thing you want to do is find out exactly which version of the Mac operating system to install and make sure that there is no reason not to install it.

If you choose to wait and download the macOS version a few months after launch – or if you want to update your Mac to an older version of macOS – note that the version you'll be downloading will be an older version of the latest update. Therefore, you will have to update the operating system again after you install it, but this happens automatically. 

Because Apple will continue to release upadte to the operating system (macOS) throughout the year, both to address vulnerabilities and fix problems, but sometimes add new features, such as new emojis. Then during the months of June to September the company will issue a beta version of the next version of the operating system software.

Make sure you have enough space

Apple recommends that you have 20GB of free space on your Mac drive before you install a new version of macOS – although you may not really need it. We usually recommend that you always try to have 10% of your Mac's total free space at all times.

Make Sure Your Mac Is Healthy

You should also make sure that your Mac is completely healthy before installing major updates to the system.

macoOpen Disk Utility (in / Applications / Utilities), select your startup drive from the list on the left, click the First Aid tab on the right, and then click Verify. If Disk Utility finds the problem, you'll need to boot from a different volume to perform the actual repair using the Repair Disk key. Boot into recovery mode (by holding down Command + R at startup) and use Disk Utility from there to perform the recommended fixes.

You can also run Apple Hardware Test (for Macs older than June 2013) or Apple Diagnostics (for Macs starting june 2013 or later). Both tests check your Mac for other hardware issues, such as bad RAM.

Back Up Your Mac If It Doesn't Error

Before you make a major update to your Mac – you should back up your Mac and perform some other tasks that we will discuss below. Fortunately, Apple makes it easy to back up your Mac using Time Machine, so there's no reason not to back up Time Machine before installing a new version of macOS.

Sign in to iCloud

iCloud is integrated into many of Apple's system apps and services. Make sure you're signed in to iCloud before you start upate software so that everything runs smoothly.

Make sure the network connection is secure

We recommend that you be on a secure and fast network – avoid downloading softwre in hotels and cafes or public networks because you don't know what might be hiding there.

Update macOS to the latest version in all your software

Before you upgrade to the latest version of macOS, make sure that you install the update to the version of macOS that you're currently running. From time to time there will be software updates to improve stability and there is always a chance that you may have problems updating to the new version of the Mac operating system if you have not installed important updates in previous versions.

You should also make sure that you've also updated the third-party app. These updates may include changes needed to upgrade to the latest macOS and if you don't run update, they may not work correctly after you update. To update an app you purchased on the Mac App Store, open the App Store app and click the Updates button on the toolbar. Then click Update All, just provide your Apple ID and password when prompted.

For apps you buy elsewhere, you need to install upadte manually. You can check if there are any updates available from the application menu, in Microsoft Word, for example, by clicking Help > Check for Updates. Check compatibility with your third-party apps before updating macOS. That way, you'll be quickly active and not disappointed with your favorite apps and non-working add-ons.

How to install macOS updates on Big Sur, Catalina, or Mojave

Installing updates to macOS after you run Big Sur, Catalina, or Mojave is a little different than before. Instead of opening the Mac App Store, you need to do the following:
  • Open System Preferences
  • Click Software Update
  • Click to update the software if an update is available
  • Or, click the Apple logo in the menu bar and choose Software Update.

How to install updates to macOS in High Sierra or earlier

If you've installed a new version of macOS and just want to install the latest updates for that software, you'll find it in the Mac App Store updates tab.
  • Open the Mac App Store
  • Click Updates
  • Click Update next to the update you want to install
  • If the software has not been downloaded (you can set it automatically), it will be downloaded in the background.
  • Once the software is downloaded, you will see a notification that it is ready to install
  • Your Mac might tell you'll restart before installing an update if the time is bad, you can choose to postpone the update for an hour, or the next day.
  • When you're ready to continue, click Update again and wait for your Mac to restarts and installs updates.
  • Your Mac will shut down and the installation will start – be careful as this can take a while and there are no alerts until it actually starts up, the latest notifications are set to take 24 minutes, but don't panic – maybe almost 10 minutes.
  • After the installation is complete, your Mac will restarts.

Hopefully, this article can help you Download & update macOS Big Sur from your current macOS so that you can take advantage of the latest features of macOS Big Sur.