How to update a Mac

Updated: 08/03/2018 by Computer Hope
The macOS logo.

Operating system updates bring improved efficiency and new features as well updated security and improvements to included software utilities. The following page show you how to install the latest version of macOS (High Sierra) on your laptop or desktop computer.


Check your version - Only certain versions of macOS can be upgraded to High Sierra.

  • Mountain Lion
  • Mavericks
  • Yosemite
  • El Capitan
  • Sierra

Check your computer's model - Before you install the newest version of macOS, you'll need to know if you're machine is capable of running it.

  • Mac Pro - All models produced from mid-2010 and later.
  • MacBook Pro - All models produced from mid-2010 and later.
  • iMac - All models produced from late 2009 and later.
  • MacBook - All models produced from late-2009 and later.
  • MacBook Air - All models produced from late-2010 and later.
  • Mac mini - All models from mid-2010 or later.

Back up your data - This step isn't necessary, but we highly recommend that you back up your Mac in the case anything goes wrong during the update process.

How to update a Mac

After you've gone through the preparation steps, you need to download and install the latest version of macOS. The following steps show you how.

  1. Open the App Store.
  2. In the top menu, click the Updates button.
  3. In the updates window, locate the line that says High Sierra.
  4. On the far right side, select Update.
  5. High Sierra will download and install.
  6. Once your computer restarts, you'll be running High Sierra.

Additional information