Apple will officially launch macOS Sonoma (version 14) to the public on Tuesday, September 26. The update was announced in June at WWDC 2023 and brings some great improvements to Mac, like a new lock screen, desktop widgets, and new features. Effects for FaceTime calls, Game Mode, and more. For those planning to install the new macOS, read on as we detail how to prepare your Mac for the update.
What’s new in macOS Sonoma
First, here’s a quick summary of the new features in macOS Sonoma. This year’s update isn’t huge, but it comes with some interesting new features.
Perhaps most notable is the new lock screen, which looks similar to what users find on iPhones and iPads. But that’s not all, macOS Sonoma comes with more than 100 new wallpapers that act as screensavers on the lock screen. Some of the new wallpapers are coming from the Air screensavers for Apple TV.
Users will also be able to place widgets on the desktop instead of keeping them hidden in the Notification Center. Apple has also made it easier to hide all windows and show the desktop with just one click on the wallpaper. Similar to iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, macOS 14 features interactive widgets.
FaceTime users can now interact with their hands to show real-time 3D effects during a video call. There are also new effects to make your photo appear floating when you share your screen with others.
Gamers will find new gaming-related features in macOS Sonoma, like Game Mode for better performance and a new API for porting Windows games to macOS. The Sonoma update also brings some iOS 17 features, like new stickers in iMessage, improved support for web apps, and a better autocorrect keyboard.
Before you update your Mac to macOS Sonoma
There are a few things you need to do before updating your Mac to macOS Sonoma. First, it’s important to check compatibility, because the new version of the operating system is not compatible with some older Macs.
These are the Mac computers compatible with macOS Sonoma:
- iMac 2019 and later
- iMac Pro 2017
- Mac Pro 2019 and later
- Mac Studio 2022 and later
- MacBook Air 2018 and later
- MacBook Pro 2018 and later
- Mac Mini 2018 and later
You can check your Mac by clicking on the Apple menu and then About This Mac.
Update your applications
New versions of macOS usually introduce new APIs that enable new functionality for third-party apps. However, to take advantage of these features, applications must be updated. Meanwhile, the new macOS may cut support for some apps.
That’s why it’s important to keep all the applications installed on your Mac up to date. This ensures that apps run perfectly with macOS Sonoma while also taking advantage of new features of the operating system.
For apps installed via the App Store, you can update them manually by opening the App Store on your Mac and then clicking the Updates menu. But, of course, if you have third-party software installed via other methods, it’s worth opening each app to check if a new version is available. By doing this before installing the new macOS, you can avoid compatibility issues with your apps.
Clean some unnecessary data
If you’ve owned your Mac for a while, it’s likely full of old or unnecessary files. Since macOS updates come with large file sizes, you may need to clean up your Mac’s internal storage before installing the update.
To help you with this process, open the System Settings app, tap on the General menu, then choose the Storage Settings option. macOS will show you exactly what’s taking up your Mac’s internal space, so you can delete some files or apps you no longer need.
Make a backup of your Mac
It may seem obvious to some people, but not everyone backs up their Mac. Sometimes, the update process may not work as expected, and you may need to restore your Mac. In such cases, having a backup is extremely important. You can save your most important documents to iCloud, for example, along with your photos, notes, and contacts.
You can also use Apple’s Time Machine to make a complete backup of your Mac using an external storage drive. For more details on how to use Time Machine, See this article from Apple Support.
It is contained
Now that you’ve followed all the recommendations above, you can safely install macOS Sonoma on your Mac by opening the System Settings app and choosing Software Update from the general menu.
Let us know in the comments section below if the update to macOS Sonoma went smoothly for you.
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