NOTE - macOS Sonoma is launching on September 26th, 2023. We generally recommend the following when it comes to approving a new version of macOS for your organization:
- Running the latest version of macOS as soon as convenient & applying all available software updates as they're published
- We default to deferring the availability of the new OS upon launch to try and minimize accidental or unapproved upgrades from happening - we're deferring macOS Sonoma from appearing in System Settings for 75 days to give organizations time to prepare
- Reach out to your account manager about adopting new versions of macOS - we'll help you upgrade a test machine so you can confirm your tech stack is compatible
Modern security best practices dictate that operating systems be kept up-to-date. Ideally, to the latest versions. (For some workflows, it’s acceptable to be one major version behind the latest.) Running the latest version also helps your Mac run at peak performance — often with new features.
Apple typically announces new operating system upgrades every summer (June) during their World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC). The announcement is followed by a series of beta versions, with the final release in the fall.
Ntiva has access to the beta program and works diligently to test each pre-release version with our tools before the final release date. We do not recommend clients run pre-release software unless they are Apple developers.
Below is our framework for applying macOS upgrades.
Upgrade Your Mac to Sonoma
To reduce the risk of extended downtime, please follow the instructions below. We have additional information posted here.
1 - PREPARATION
- Check your storage. Click on the Apple logo in the upper left > About This Mac > Storage. The upgrade process requires at least 49 GB available. If your computer has less available space, the process will not begin or may fail.
- Check your backup. We strongly recommend that you make sure your important data is backed up. Many organizations use a cloud backup service like Druva, or you may have a backup on an external hard drive via Time Machine. However you protect your data, make sure your backup is up-to-date before proceeding.
- Disconnect external devices. Unplug everything from your Mac except for the power cord and the Ethernet network connection if you use it. Third-party USB hubs, displays, and external drives can cause problems with upgrades.
- Use MacManage to INSTALL Check for Major Updates. This process will ensure your current macOS and Microsoft apps (if applicable) are ready for the upgrade.
NOTE: Most managed Macs will search for, approve, and begin installing detected macOS updates immediately. You’ll see the Software Update window shown below if this process does not start. Ignore the Upgrade Now button and look for the link to More Info... in the Other Updates Available section. In macOS Ventura, you may have to scroll down a bit to find it:
- Restart. Choose the Apple menu > Restart on your Mac before initiating the installation (step 2). This extra restart will give your Mac a fresh reset and better prepare it for the upcoming changes.
2 - INSTALL VIA MACMANAGE
- BEFORE YOU BEGIN: The upgrade can take up to 2-hours (or longer). During this time, your Mac will be unusable. We recommend starting the upgrade early on a business day (or late at night if you don’t have anything pressing the next morning). This timing will allow you time to contact our Service Desk if things don’t go as expected. Fridays — especially Friday afternoons and evenings — and weekends are the worst time to upgrade because of Murphy’s law.
- Navigate to your Applications folder and open MacManage.
Are you an admin on your Mac? You can alternatively navigate to System Preferences → Software Update and begin the upgrade from there. If you do this, follow the prompts until your Mac reboots, then pick up at section 3 below.
- Search for the entry named Install macOS Sonoma.
- Click the Install button to begin. You will be prompted to confirm. Click Install to start the download. NOTE: This popup may appear behind your other windows but will announce its presence by making the MacManage dock icon bounce.
Your computer will begin the upgrade by downloading the 12 GB macOS installer. Although you can continue to work while it’s downloading, it’s safer and faster to keep all applications closed.
Your Mac will announce a reboot when it’s ready. If FileVault is enabled, you may have to type in your password to help the Mac reboot successfully. You will see a black screen, an Apple logo, and a progress bar displaying roughly how long until the current action is complete. You may need to log in again during the upgrade process. Select your user account and type in your password to proceed.
3 - CLEANUP
Once the upgrade is complete, the computer will restart, and you can log into your account as usual.
- Please again run Check for Major Updates from MacManage to ensure your current macOS and Microsoft apps (if applicable) are 100% up-to-date.
- Also, launch any business-critical apps to confirm everything is working as expected. Some apps may request a system extension approval. See this article for more information.
If you run into any questions or unusual behavior, contact us (or your IT team if you’re not yet a client).