Quick Tips for Getting Ready for El Capitan Tomorrow

This week on Mac Power Users David and I discussed Apple’s new Operating System El Capitan as well as our tips for making the upgrade. These days, my default recommendation is that most people just use the default upgrade offered through the Mac App store. However, you still should take a few precautions if you’re planning to upgrade tomorrow or in the near future.

  1. If you use your Mac to make your living or for any mission-critical tasks you may want to consider waiting a bit before a major system upgrade to make sure all the kinks are worked out of the system. Let all of us crazy early adopters take that hit for you.
  2. If you plan to upgrade, do your research and make sure that your applications and devices are ready to go. This is especially true if you're using older versions of software. Roaring Apps does a fairly good job of keeping a list of apps compatible with the new operating systems. However, it’s always a good bet to check with your software and hardware developers directly.
  3. Make sure that your Mac and all your devices are fully backed up immediately before you upgrade. In fact, when doing a major OS update, I recommend making one additional clone backup of you computer that I call the “shelf backup.” This is a backup that you can keep on a shelf (or a drawer, whatever) for several weeks or a month while you use the new operating system. This way if you find a mission-critical problem later down the line, you know you have a good backup you can revert back to.
  4. Especially if you’re upgrading multiple Macs, in order to save the time and bandwidth, consider making your own flash installer for use on multiple machines or for ease of installing.
  5. While it’s probably not necessary these days, if you decide to take this opportunity to completely erase and rebuild your Mac form scratch, I have a guide for that too.