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How to Upgrade Your Mac to macOS Big Sur

Apr 8, 2021

Outline

Upgrade Mac to the most recent macOS i.e. Big Sur
Big Sur

Big Sur is the current and the 17th macOS by Apple after Catalina, released on November 12, 2020. If you want to upgrade to macOS Big Sur follow the steps from the article.

It is always recommended to upgrade Mac to the most recent macOS for better security, performance, and features.

Information
If your Mac is running El Capitan v10.11.5 or later, and the software update is set to download when available, macOS Big Sur will download in the background, and you will see the notification to proceed with the installation.
In case, macOS Big Sur got downloaded and you don’t want to install it now, you can find macOS Big Sur in the Applications folder to install when you are ready.

If your Mac doesn’t meet the above requirements to download Big Sur automatically, proceed with the following steps to upgrade your Mac to macOS Big Sur manually.

1. System requirement to upgrade macOS Big Sur

Let’s check whether or not your Mac meets the installation requirement for Big Sur.

Big Sur is available for the following computers

  • MacBook introduced in 2015 or later
  • MacBook Air introduced in 2013 or later
  • MacBook Pro introduced in late 2013 or later
  • Mac mini introduced in 2014 or later
  • iMac introduced in 2014 or later
  • iMac Pro
  • Mac Pro introduced in 2013 or later

For the complete list, follow Apple’s official list on compatible computers with macOS Big Sur.

If upgrading from macOS Sierra or later, macOS Big Sur requires 35.5GB of available storage to upgrade. If upgrading from an earlier release, macOS Big Sur requires up to 44.5GB of available storage.

Apple

In case you are new to macOS, or doesn’t know how to check which macOS and how much space your computer has, follow the steps below to know.

Check which macOS computer has

  • Click on the Apple icon on the top left corner
  • Select “About This Mac
You will see the macOS name on the Window that comes up.
about this mac

Check how much free space Mac has

  • Open “About This Mac” through the above steps
  • Go to “Storage“, available on the parent tabs
You will see how much space your Mac has consumed and how much is left.

2. Know before you upgrade macOS

It’s recommended to take care of the following points before you upgrade your Mac to macOS Big Sur or any future upgrades.  

Take a Backup

Taking a backup of your Mac is always a good idea whether or not you are upgrading your computer to a newer macOS. Several ways are available to take a backup of your Mac. Such as Time machine backup, Cloud backup, Third-party apps, and an External disk.  

Internet connection

You will need a reliable and unrestricted internet connection to download macOS Big Sur, it will download a huge number of files, so your internet should have at least 50GB of data available or an unlimited plan is recommended.  

Power connection

It is required to have your Mac connected to the AC Power for the macOS upgrade, don’t disconnect the Power till the upgrade completes.

3. Download macOS Big Sur

Once you have covered all the points from the second step, let’s go to download macOS Big Sur, and continue with the installation.

  • Go to About this Mac, using this step
  • Click on “Software Update”, and the Software Update window comes up
macOS Software update

If the macOS Big Sur update is available for your Mac, you will see it, with the expected size to download.

  • Click on Upgrade Now, and the macOS Big Sur starts downloading

3. Installing macOS Big Sur

Here we will see how to continue with the installation of macOS Big Sur, you will see a Continue screen when the download is complete.

  • Click on Continue
macOS Big Sur installation screenshot
  • Agree to the Terms of the software license agreement
  • Select the appropriate Hard Disk on the next screen, and Continue. If there’s only one Hard Disk just click continue

macOS Big Sur installation will now start on the selected Hard Disk if it has enough space. It could take around 15 to 40 minutes to complete the installation.

Once the installation is complete, Mac would prompt you to close all other applications

  • Click on the “Close Other Applications” button
  • Now click the Restart option

Once the Mac reboots, you will find your Mac has been updated to the Big Sur.

We hope this article helped you, and you have a clear picture of “How to upgrade your Mac to macOS Big Sur.

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