This article is primarily aimed at those who have received a popup message referring them to keyword macOSupgrade, but others are allowed to read it, too!
macOS 10.15, also known as Catalina, was released in the fall of 2019. As of September 2020, Catalina is our recommended operating system for new and upgraded Macs on campus. Computers using 10.13 (High Sierra) will have to upgrade to 10.15 during the fall of 2020.
The installation may take 30 minutes to an hour or more, depending on your computer. Once it has started it will mostly run on its own; in some cases, there may be a login prompt before the process can entirely complete.
Step 1: Prep
As always, before you perform major maintenance on your computer, make sure your files are backed up. These upgrades should not damage or remove any files, but it's wise to check that your backups are running before making any major changes.
- Any files stored in Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive should already be covered (log into the web portal of the service you use to verify that the sync has been working).
- Most office computers have Code42 (formerly CrashPlan) installed. Open the program via the buildings icon in the upper right of your screen or find it via Spotlight Search or in your Applications folder. Verify that the completion is near 100% (it may never get there as small things are changing constantly as you use your computer, but the high 90s is good).
- If you're not sure your files are backed up properly, stop here and contact T&I for assistance before you continue.
Step 2: macOS Upgrade
The OS upgrade will take a while (at least an hour is not uncommon) so we recommend starting this right before you leave for lunch or the evening.
You may install Catalina manually from the App Store/Software Updates, or you can use Self Service:
- Save all work and close all programs.
- Launch the Self Service app via the Applications folder or Spotlight search, or by clicking "Do It Now" in the popup notification that brought you here.
- In the Featured section, you should see an entry to Upgrade to macOS 10.15 Catalina.
- Choose to Install and follow the instructions on-screen. If it is not already downloaded, your computer will spend a few minutes acquiring the installer, then proceed to prepare the installation before rebooting to perform the main work. Once the download begins, you can leave it to run on its own.
- During the installation, there may be a time when the computer appears to be completely off. Do Not hit the power button to turn it on again; it is actually busy upgrading its firmware, and interrupting it can cause serious send-it-to-Apple-for-repairs complications. It will come back to life and start doing visible work again in a few minutes.
- In some cases, there may be another 10-15 minutes of installing to do after you log in again, before the computer is ready to use, so please plan accordingly.