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OS X Mavericks is the latest major release of the operating system for Mac users, running OS X 10.9, and it is now available as a free download. Packed with over 200 new ones feature improvements and refinements, it includes some very useful new ones features that will delight many Mac users, ranging from Finder tags to tabbed Finder windows, to improved battery life and power management. It’s a great release of OS X and all users who can update their Mac should, and we’re going to help you with that; prepare your Mac for the OS X Mavericks update.
Mavericks is super easy to install and is similar enough to Mountain Lion that most users are unlikely to experience any issues with the update regarding app compatibility or system support. Nonetheless, major new operating system releases provide a good time to go through a simple checklist to ensure compatibility of the Mac itself, your apps, and also to do some general cleaning. up, maintenance and, perhaps most importantly, backups.
1: Check Mac system compatibility
Essentially updating to OS X Mavericks requires the following:
- 64-bit Intel CPU
- Advanced GPU
- 8 GB free disk space
- OS X Lion or OS X Mountain Lion
- Internet connection so that it can be downloaded from the Mac App Store
If some of that sounds like jargon gibberish, it’s often easier to think in terms of the novelty of Mac models. The newer the Mac the better, but here’s the standard supported hardware list:
- iMac (Mid 2007 or later)
- MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2009 or later), (15-inch, Mid / Late 2007 or later), (17-inch, Late 2007 or later)
- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later)
- Mac Mini (Early 2009 or later)
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
- Xserve (early 2009)
The list is quite broad, and if a Mac is running Mountain Lion, it will run Mavericks too. But in general, the newer the Mac, the better.
Perhaps the biggest requirement for many users is to have at least 8 GB for free on the Mac, which can sometimes get pretty close with the smaller SSD-based Macs. OmniDiskSweeper is a great tool to help out for free up available hard drive space so you can find out what you’re eating up disk space – it’s also free to download from here.
2: Install general system updates and update Mac apps
Track system updates and apps up to date is a good policy for stability and security, but you will often get new ones features to. This can be especially true when apps have been updated to support new major OS X releases, a new one where possible feature built into the operating system may need to be independently included in the apps themselves. So take a moment to update your apps.
Updating OS X and your apps through the Mac App Store is remarkably easy:
- Launch the “App Store” from the Applications, Launchpad or Spotlight folder
- Go to the “Updates” tab and choose “Update all”
If you have items in the list that you do not want to update for some reason, exclude them by right-clicking “Ignore Update”. trick.
The Mac App Store is obviously simple, but for third-party apps downloaded from the web or directly from developers, you’ll need to manually check for updates. Some apps do this automatically at startup, and others require a subsequent visit to a repository or website to get the latest version.
The good news is that even if you can’t update every app for some reason, it will probably work fine in OS X Mavericks if it’s currently running in OS X Lion or OS X Mountain Lion.
3: Perform a general system cleaning Up
Major OS X updates are a great time to do some general system maintenance and cleaning up to make sure everything comes in tip-top shape. Much of this is optional, but if you have the time, it’s a good idea to do some cleaning up on the Mac:
- Delete old apps you no longer use, usually throwing them in the trash is enough, but you can do a more thorough uninstallation if you wish
- Delete useless old files from ~ / Downloads / folder
- Delete unnecessary caches from user folders and old apps
- Clean up files from the desktop, throw them all in a folder ‘clean up’ or individually in the appropriate places in your home directory – this is an easy task that helps to speed up up older Macs
- Consider running a free app like OmniDiskSweeper to locate large files up space on the hard drive and restore the capacity
All in all, it doesn’t take much time to complete, and you get a Mac with more available disk capacity, less clutter, and often better performance too.
4: Back Up with Time Machine
Last but certainly not least, back up the Mac. Having backups of your important data and files is critical, and Apple’s Time Machine feature makes it so easy to back up everythingup that there is little reason not to do it. Always, always, back up your Mac before installing an important system update. It’s unlikely that something will go wrong, but if something does go wrong, you can recover quickly if you have a new backup.up at hand.
It is good to have a thorough back-up or set to run up Time Machine if you haven’t already, but don’t forget to get a quick backupup immediately before running the OS X Mavericks installer. This ensures that all recent changes are kept in case something goes wrong.
Consider setting if you want to be extra careful with backups up a redundant backupup using multiple drives with Time Machine, a very simple process that basically provides an automatic backupup of your backups. Another redundant backup option is to use a third party paid service up to the cloud, such as CrashPlan or Dropbox.
That’s about it, so go ahead and download and enjoy OS X Mavericks, free is a great price on a great OS update!
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