Are you considering upgrading to the new operating system Apple just released?
Before upgrading to Yosemite, there are a few things you must do.
Every time you upgrade your operating system your computer will either get better or worse. If your computer is already having issues it may solve them, or really screw it up. You need to be ready for the things to go wrong and here’s a few quick things to do to make sure you do this safely.
That being said, I am loving Yosemite! There are so many cool features that will make you want to update. To see a full list go here.
Now, to the list of things you need to do before you upgrade so as to keep your documents and snapshots of your most precious moments safe.
1. Back up your computer. You can do this a number of different ways.
- Carbon Copy Cloner: The best way to do this is to create a clone of your computer using an application like Carbon Copy Cloner from bombich.com. If something goes wrong in your upgrade, you can restart ANY Mac with your backup drive plugged in and all your files show up exactly the way they were at the time of your last backup. This gives me total confidence that anything can happen to my computer and my files are safe.
- Time Machine: This is the most common way Mac users back up their computers. It’s really easy and automatic.
- Manually copy files to an external drive: You can open up Finder and go to the different folders on your Mac such as Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Movies and drag them onto your external drive. This makes sure your main files are backed up, but it’s not bringing over your saved bookmarks in Firefox, or address book and things like that. If something go wrong, you’ll have a lot more work to do to get back up and running, but at least you will still have your files.
- Crashplan or some other cloud backup: I highly recommend having a backup of your computer on the cloud. If something goes wrong though, you can’t download 50 GB of data in a flash like you can with an external drive. I have both. My cloud backup is there just in case everything else fails.
2. Make sure the apps you use are compatible. You can go here to find out if the specific app you are concerned about will work: http://roaringapps.com/apps?index=a. If it’s not compatible yet, hang tight, and check back every week or so.
3. Know your passwords: You will at least be asked what your iCloud password is. This is the same as your Apple ID, App Store password etc. While you’re finding them, I recommend getting set up with an app called 1Password. Check out my post on passwords.
4. Use Disk Utility to scan your hard drive to see if it has any issues: This isn’t a really thorough test, but it’s easy and fast. Use Spotlight (the magnifying glass in the top right corner of your screen) to search for Disk Utility. Once open click on Macintosh HD, then click Verify Disk. When that’s finished, click Repair Permissions. I usually do this once a month.
Once you have backed up, made sure your apps are compatible, checked you have at least your iCloud password lined up, and have run disk utility, pull the trigger!
While you’re waiting for the installer to download, check out http://apple.com/osx to see all the cool new things your Mac is going to be able to do!
*If your Mac is a 2011 model, I do not recommend upgrading yet. I have two clients who did and are having weird popping noises when receiving FaceTime calls.
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