Thursday, October 3, 2019

macOS Catalina Upgrade Checklist


✓ macOS Catalina install restriction lifted on October 22 2019 for college-owned computers.

ITS has been testing macOS Catalina beta version since its release on September 2019. Catalina is the first version of macOS to exclusively support 64-bit applications which means that some of your critical and favorite programs may no longer work with this new version.

We recommend that you only upgrade if your computer has at least 18.5 GB of available storage space and a minimum of 8 GB of RAM. Before upgrading, make sure you have a backup plan and set aside plenty of time for the installation to complete.

If your Mac is currently running macOS Mojave, and you have not installed specialty software, it most likely meets all of these requirements and you are safe to upgrade. Upgrading to macOS Catalina is not required.

✓ Have a backup.

ITS strongly recommends backing up your data. Once you upgrade, there's no going back to retrieve any lost data. Back up your data to your Google Drive Backup & Sync, H Drive, Time Machine, or CrashPlan.

✓ Check software compatibility.

What are the most important software programs you use every day? The latest versions of programs such as Microsoft Office and Google File Stream are known to work great with macOS Catalina, but some specialized software may need patches or paid upgrades before they work. If you aren’t sure, contact the ITS Help Desk at Faculty members may contact their Academic Information Associate. RoaringApps compatibility checker may have more information.

The following applications have been tested and launch successfully. ITS cannot test every function in these programs: ATLAS.ti, Citrix, Google Drive File Stream, Mathematica, ChemDraw, CrashPlan, GlobalProtect.

✓ Review the list of 32-bit applications installed on your Mac.

  1. Go to Apple menu and choose About this Mac
  2. From the Overview tab, select System Report…
  3. Locate Software and click Applications. Wait a moment and a list of all the applications installed on your computer appears, including the Application Name, Version, Obtained from, Last Modified, and 64-Bit (Intel).
  4. Look closely at the 64-Bit (Intel) column for applications with No. These applications will no longer work when upgraded to Catalina.
  5. Read this in depth article for more info: How to check which Mac apps are 32-bit and won't work in macOS Catalina 

✓ Make sure to have enough storage space.

You need 15 GB of available storage capacity. To find the available storage go to the Apple menu and choose About This Mac then Storage.

✓ Make sure to have enough memory (RAM).

ITS recommends at least 8 GB of RAM, otherwise your computer may run very slowly. To find the memory (RAM) go to the Apple menu and choose About This Mac then Overview, look for Memory.

✓ Make sure your hardware is compatible if you want to use Catalina's new features.

We only recommend the upgrade for the following computer models. To find your model, go to the Apple menu and choose About This Mac.
  • iMac: Late 2012 or newer
  • iMac Pro
  • Mac Pro: Late 2013 or newer
  • Mac Mini: Late 2012 or newer
  • MacBook: Early 2015 or newer
  • MacBook Air: Mid-2012 or newer
  • MacBook Pro: Mid-2012 or newer, including non-Retina

✓ Make sure your operating system (OS) is compatible.

Your Mac must be running OS X 10.8 or later to receive the upgrade. To find the version of OS X, go to the Apple menu and choose About This Mac, look for Version.
  • macOS Mojave v10.14
  • macOS High Sierra v10.13
  • macOS Sierra v10.12
  • OS X El Capitan v10.11
  • OS X Yosemite v10.10
  • OS X Mavericks v10.9
  • OS X Mountain Lion v10.8

✓ Clear your schedule.

Upgrading your device to macOS Mojave may take hours.

✓ Install macOS Catalina.

Go to Apple menu > App Store… Featured > macOS Mojave > Download > Install

✓ Upgrade or remove 32-bit applications that no longer work with Catalina

Contact the software manufacturer for the latest upgrade.

Additional Resources


ITS Help Desk

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