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Those who are unsure which Mac model they own may find EveryMac and apple-history to be useful sites. If you have a compatible Mac with a version of OS X that predates Lion for example, Snow Leopard , you will need to download Sierra on another compatible Mac with Lion or later, create a bootable Sierra flash drive or external hard drive using Apple's official instructions or the third-party tool DiskMaker X , and do a clean install overwriting the hard drive on your Mac—so be sure to carefully back up all of your files first. An alternative solution for upgrading a compatible Mac from Snow Leopard to Sierra is to first upgrade to your choice of Lion through El Capitan if you happen to have a bootable installer from one of those versions of macOS handy, or if you're able to download one from the Purchased section of the App Store and use DiskMaker X to create a bootable installer , and then do a second upgrade from that macOS version to Sierra.

Taking this upgrade path will allow you to preserve your hard drive's contents. If your Mac can't run Sierra, there's still a decent chance that it can run the previous version of macOS, El Capitan, which may continue to receive security updates from Apple for another year or two. If your Mac is currently running Mountain Lion, Mavericks, or Yosemite, then it definitely meets the minimum system requirements for running El Capitan and it might even be Sierra-capable; refer to the previous section. If your Mac isn't new enough to run Sierra or even El Capitan, then, unfortunately, it will no longer receive much support from Apple.

Sadly, Apple doesn't give users any direct warning when their operating system or Mac is no longer supported. Worse, when users check the App Store for updates or on older Macs when users run Software Update , it misleadingly tells them, "No Updates Available" or "Your software is up to date.

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macos - Upgrade iMac12,2 from Mac OS X - Ask Different

This didn't just happen once ; it has happened again and again. Universal binary malware can run on old Macs, too. Image credit: While Apple boasts about the extremely high percentage of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices that are rapidly upgraded to each major new version of iOS, such is not necessarily the case with Macs and OS X. Based on the newly released Net Applications data for November , it appears that Sierra has been installed on nearly one third of the Macs that were used for Web browsing last month. Meanwhile, El Capitan, which has been out for over a year and is still being supported, is currently tied with Sierra at one third of the Mac market share, and Yosemite is in third place at just over one-fifth of the active installed base.

All older versions of OS X, though, together comprise more than In other words, about 1 in every 7 Macs in use today is no longer getting security updates. This makes non-upgraded or non-upgradeable Macs a potentially significant target roughly 20 to 30 million computers for criminals interested in infecting a large quantity of devices. Anyone still using a Mac that cannot be upgraded to Sierra, or at least El Capitan, should strongly consider buying new hardware if they can afford it. If you have an older Intel Mac, you have several options. One solution is to set up Boot Camp and install Windows to use as your Mac's primary operating system.

At the time of this writing, If you can't afford to buy a brand new Mac, but you do have a little bit of money to spend, you can shop around for used Macs. If you know a Mac user who's still running an older version of OS X , do them a favor and check to see whether their Mac is capable of running macOS Sierra. If so, help them upgrade.


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If not, let them know it's time to strongly consider getting a newer computer. Learn how to back up your Mac. It takes time to download and install OS X, so make sure that you have a reliable Internet connection. If you're using a Mac notebook computer, plug it into AC power. For the strongest security and latest features, find out whether you can upgrade to macOS Mojave , the latest version of macOS. Get El Capitan. Click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions.

How to upgrade to OS X El Capitan

You might find it easiest to begin installation in the evening so that it can complete overnight, if needed. If your seven-plus year old Mac is still useful, OK, keep using it. All docs, apps and settings come over seamlessly. You should not mislead people into thinking their older incompatible applications will move over to new OS platforms and hardware that is not necessarily compatible.

Many 3rd party apps will have to be upgrades as will programs like Disk Warrior for the 64 bit environments. A brand-new OS may receive security updates, yes, but it also represents an unknown that will be subject to exploitation.

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IMO, as long as there are antivirus programs that run in Snow Leopard, Adobe Flash upgrades and browser upgrades, Snow Leopard is about as secure as anything else. Has Apple published anything to suggest otherwise? Finally, if Apple no longer intends to release updates for Snow Leopard why are they still selling retail copies? My concern with this rush to speculation is that it will essentially push Apple to drop Snow Leopard and similarly-aged hardware that much sooner.

Apple needs to issue security updates at least as long as is customary in the Windows world. Apple products come at a premium, for one, and second more and more people are updating smaller format electronics like tablets and smartphones much faster than desktop systems or all-in-ones. Given the trend to hang on to desktops and even laptops longer than was once the case, if anything Apple and associated developers should prepare for supporting these systems longer because consumers are less likely to upgrade desktop Macs and PCs every two years like they did back in the s and early s.

Now that the pace of desktop system upgrades has slowed down, so too should the rush to ditch former operating systems and hardware. Apple ought to take typical usage and upgrade patterns into account when deciding what OS systems and hardware to relegate to legacy status. Five year old hardware is indeed fast, depending on what you bought originally. Maybe you should try however futile it might or might not be to encourage Apple to consider this as compatibility of older hardware. But as for software maintenance, it all has a life cycle and that is a different topic entirely.

Lastly, before I comment on some of the things you write, I want to say: And do you really think Apple sees everything, that they put serious security flaws in on purpose? If not, then how do you expect them to know when to publish this supposed proof? All software has an EOL whether official or not. It is unreasonable to expect programmers to maintain all software they ever supported because it is impractical to do so as a programmer who cares about quality or even who want to do more than just do programming.

Yes, that means even software that is free and open source anyone can change it has an end of life. Unless you want them to stop releasing new major versions of the OS then this is how it is. To not make new releases makes zero sense at all levels, though, unless it is going to be a discontinued line of products.

Thanks for the article.

Older versions of OS X eligible for upgrade

To be honest. You are dramatizing and exaggerating my friend. I use Leopard and Snow leopard still a lot without a problem. Never have I been hacked and should it happen one day, oh well. There are so many worse things in life.

You might not care about security but others do because others understand the or some of the implications. There are so many worse things in life? Yes, perhaps like identity theft of you or even someone you care about? Computer security is relevant to this. Well, you got that off your chest — happy now?

Check compatibility

Just relax and have a coke and a smile pal. You spend too much of your energy on this issue. And for people are afraid of identity theft.. You completely missed my points. As for this: And what is your response? Why does it concern you, what another person does with their time. Move on, brother. Have your coke and smile as you happily enjoy the problem free secure computing you assure us you have.


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As a programmer I know this rule very well. But who cares about me? I can imagine most who are used to Apple would have a lot more problems with BSD but many would probably also have problems with Linux. Why so many refer to a specific Linux distribution as if it is Linux itself is beyond me, but that is probably immaterial. For instance: Why would Apple release a flawed mandatory upgrade? WiFi problems? Google has a page full of Yosimite problems. The best solution would be for Apple to fix their new OS themselves instead of having the users doing unpaid work for Apple.

I agree this is exaggerated. I still enjoy trouble free stable operation on multiple machines running leopard and snow leopard. Not cool, Apple. Not cool. I agree with the advice in your post the most. He has thrown his lot into the trash of apps and quarterly returns.


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