Apple will be releasing macOS Sonoma (version 14) to the public on September 26th, bringing some exciting new improvements to the Mac operating system. Announced at WWDC 2023, this update introduces features like a new Lock Screen, desktop widgets, new effects for FaceTime calls, Game Mode, and more. If you’re planning to install macOS Sonoma, here’s a guide on how to prepare your Mac for the update.
Let’s start by highlighting the new features in macOS Sonoma. While this update may not be a significant one, it does come with some interesting additions. One of the most notable is the new Lock Screen, which resembles the one found on iPhones and iPads. Additionally, macOS Sonoma offers over 100 new wallpapers that become screensavers on the Lock Screen, some of which are sourced from Apple TV’s Aerial screensavers.
Another exciting feature is the ability to place widgets on the desktop, rather than having 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 introduces interactive widgets.
For FaceTime users, macOS Sonoma allows users to react with their hands to show 3D effects in real-time during a video call. There are also new effects that give the illusion of your image floating when sharing your screen with others. Gamers will appreciate the new game-related features, such as Game Mode for better performance and a new API for porting Windows games to macOS.
Several features from iOS 17 are also included in the Sonoma update, such as new stickers in iMessage, improved web app support, and a better auto-correct keyboard.
Before updating your Mac to macOS Sonoma, there are a few things you need to do. Firstly, it’s essential to check compatibility, as the new operating system is not compatible with some older Macs. The compatible Mac computers are listed as follows:
– 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
To check which Mac you have, click on the Apple menu and then select “About This Mac.”
Next, you should update your apps. New versions of macOS often introduce new APIs that offer new functionalities for third-party apps. However, to take advantage of these features, apps need to be updated. Additionally, the new macOS might break support for some apps, so it’s crucial to keep all installed apps up to date. You can update apps installed via the App Store by opening the App Store on your Mac and clicking on the Updates menu. For third-party software installed via other methods, it’s worth checking for new versions in each app.
Considering the large file size of macOS updates, you might need to clean up your Mac’s internal storage before installing the update. Over time, your Mac may accumulate old or unnecessary files, and it’s a good idea to remove them. To assist with this process, open the System Settings app, click on the General menu, and choose the Storage Settings option. macOS will show you what is taking up your Mac’s internal space, allowing you to delete files or apps that you no longer need.
Lastly, it’s crucial to back up your Mac before installing the update. Although it may seem obvious to some, not everyone backs up their Mac. In case the update process doesn’t go as expected, and you need to restore your Mac, having a backup is essential. You can save your most important documents in iCloud, along with your photos, notes, and contacts. Additionally, you can use Apple’s Time Machine to make a full backup of your Mac using an external storage drive. For more detailed instructions on how to use Time Machine, visit Apple Support.
Once you’ve followed all the recommendations above, you can safely install macOS Sonoma on your Mac. Open the System Settings app, choose Software Update from the General menu, and proceed with the installation.
If you’ve successfully updated to macOS Sonoma, let us know in the comments section below.