Apple's New Operating System Is Launching This Week – Here's How To Prepare Your Mac

mountain lion

Photo: California DFG via flickr

Apple is (likely) only a day away from putting out OS X Mountain Lion, the newest operating system for Macs.It’ll be available as a download from the Mac App Store. But before you get started, there are a few tricks you should follow to get your Mac ready.

Step One: Make sure your computer will meet the requirements

Mountain Lion isn't for everyone. Make sure you have one of the following computers before springing for the upgrade:

  • iMac (mid-2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (late 2008 aluminium, or early 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (mid/late 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (late 2008 or newer)
  • Mac Mini (early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (early 2008 or newer)
  • Xserve (early 2009)

Upgrade so that you have access to the Mac App Store

Since Mountain Lion will only be available via the App Store, you need to upgrade to at least OS X 10.6 so that you have access. For some, that may mean you have to upgrade twice.

Protect your neck and back up your data

Any time you undertake something relatively major, like an operating system upgrade, you'd do well to back up your data using a free utility like SuperDuper.

You can get it here >

You can also use Time Machine, Apple's automatic backup tool that comes with every Mac.

Do some basic housekeeping

If you have old apps taking up space on your hard drive, go ahead and take the opportunity to uninstall them. We like a utility called AppZapper.

Update third-party apps

Make sure you're running the latest version of all the software that you use on a regular basis. The easiest way to do this is run Software Update by clicking the Apple symbol in the top left of your screen. You should also check the Mac App Store to see which apps you need to update.

There's only one place you can get Mountain Lion

Mountain Lion will only be available as a download from the Mac App Store. This will be the first time Apple doesn't use a physical disk or drive to distribute a new Mac operating system. Stay tuned to SAI and we'll tell you when you can start downloading.

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