Apple’s newest Operating System for Mac, High Sierra, was released in October of 2017, and by now you’ve probably been seeing Notifications pop up on the right side of your Mac Desktop reminding you to upgrade. Here’s what you should know about this new system:

  1. If your Mac is currently running Sierra, macOS 10.12.6, it is capable of running High Sierra. Generally, this means that your computer is 8 years old or newer. If yours is older, it may be time to start thinking about a new Mac, or just skip this update.

2. High Sierra introduces a whole new system for storing files on your Hard or Solid State Drive called Apple File System (AFS for short). If you are using a Mac with a Solid State Drive (SSD), AFS will make a huge difference in the speed and performance of your computer – perhaps as much as twice as fast. If your computer still has a traditional hard drive, you won’t notice much of a speed increase (if any) versus Sierra.

3. Some software is ‘Officially Unsupported’ under High Sierra (because of AFS), so use caution if you use third party applications from Microsoft, Adobe etc. These and other software developers are moving to a ‘Software as as Service’ model that require a monthly or annual subscription for the software to continue to function. If you already subscribe to one of these services, you have nothing to worry about when upgrading to High Sierra. However if you are using an older ‘1-time purchase’ software product from a third party, it may not be compatible with AFS. The exception would be any software purchased through the Mac App Store, as Apple requires the developers selling there that they be regularly updated for new operating system compatibility.
*(Pro Tip: check this handy guide to see if your software will work on High Sierra.)

4. After upgrading to High Sierra, you will notice many minor tweaks in the look and feel of the operating system, but the biggest improvements have come to Apple’s Photos application. Besides functioning significantly faster under High Sierra, Apple has built in fantastic improvements in Photos for editing, sharing and more. Be sure to attend The MacSpa’s ‘Photo Organizing and Editing’ class to learn more (included with a Classic or Mentor Membership!).

5. Although we haven’t seen any major problems in upgrading to High Sierra, we always recommend backing up your Mac on a regular basis and especially before a major Operating System update. For more information on backing up, see our blog post on this topic.

6. In order to upgrade, go to the Mac App Store and find the link to download High Sierra. The download process takes approximately 45 minutes (depending on your Internet connection). Once downloaded, you will be prompted to Install. Your Mac will then restart and the progress bar will continue another 45 minutes or so until you will be prompted to enter your AppleID password in order to complete.

For more information or help with upgrading to High Sierra, give us a call, book an appointment, or come to our ‘Introduction to the Mac and macOS High Sierra’ class.

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