Getting Ready For macOS Catalina

Photo Credit: Apple

Photo Credit: Apple

Are you ready for macOS Catalina?

Apple will be releasing macOS Catalina, their latest version of macOS, in October. If you’re planning to upgrade, you’ll want to be proactive and take some steps now to make sure you’re ready for release day.

First, check to make sure your current Mac will be supported by macOS Catalina. macOS Catalina will run on the MacBook 2015 and later, iMac 2012 and later, MacBook Air 2012 and later, iMac Pro 2017 and later, MacBook Pro 2012 and later, Mac Pro 2013 and later and the Mac Mini 2012 and later. If your Mac is on the supported list, you’re off to a good start!

Next, make sure all your Mac applications are 64-bit compatible. Apple has been reminding customers in the last two versions of macOS (macOS High Sierra and macOS Mojave) that 32-bit application support will be coming to an end. macOS Catalina will no longer support 32-bit applications so you’ll want to make sure all your critical applications are 64-bit compatible.

To find out if you are running 32-bit or 64-bit applications, go to the Apple Menu then About This Mac and select System Report. In the left column, scroll down to Software then select Applications. A list of all the applications running on your Mac will we displayed in the right column. Look for the column labeled 64-Bit (Intel). If an application shows a “Yes” under the 64-Bit (Intel) column, it means the application is a 64-bit application. If the application shows “No” it means the application is a 32-bit application.

If you are running any 32-bit applications, you’ll want to check with the application developer to see if a 64-bit version of the application is or will be available for macOS Catalina. Some developers may still be working on 64-bit application support up until and possibly after the launch of macOS Catalina. If the 32-bit application is a critical application that you need to use and a 64-bit version is not yet available, you’ll want to hold off on upgrading to macOS Catalina.

Finally, before upgrading to macOS Catalina and as a standard best practice, be sure to backup your Mac. Upgrades can go awry so you’ll want to make sure you have a current backup of all the critical data on your Mac before you perform the upgrade. It’s also a good practice to frequently backup your computer in case of a hardware failure, data corruption and/or data loss. You can perform manual or automatic backups, backup to local external storage and/or to the cloud, use software solutions like Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner and so forth. Just backup frequently and consistently!

If your Mac needs a good refresh, formatting your hard drive or SSD and performing a clean install of macOS can often do wonders. Again, make sure you backup your Mac before formatting and performing a clean install.

A final thought … While being one of the first to upgrade to the latest version of macOS may sound good on paper, it never quite works out that way in practice. So, you may want to hold off for a bit before upgrading to macOS Catalina just to make sure there aren’t any unexpected surprises (aka bugs or issues) especially if you are upgrading a primary Mac. The last thing you’ll want is your primary computer on the fritz.