Part I Getting Ready: Before Your Start the Update.
You can update your computer from home or school. Be sure to locate your computer in a safe location, where you can keep it plugged in and it will not be turned off or closed during the 1-4 hour update cycle.
- Back up files on your computer to Google Drive.
- Restart your computer (By doing so, it will ensure you have quit and saved all of your work.)
- Plugin your computer and leave it on. (By doing so, it will ensure your computer does not shut off in the middle of the update, which would be problematic.)
- Do not close the screen on your computer, shut down, or restart your computer.
- You should plan that it will take 45 min. - 4 hours for the update to complete.
Part II Starting the Update Process (est. 45 min - 2 hours):
1. Start the Software Update. Choose the Apple menu (top left of the screen) > "About This Mac" > and then select the "Software Update" button.
2. Select the Update Now button.
This can take 15-60 minutes depending on the speed of your internet connection.
Note: If your Mac has the latest software installed, it will say "Your Mac is up to date -- macOS Big Sur 11.6."
3. Wait and Let the Magic Happen: "Preparing Updates." (30 min. - 2 hours)
Be patient. After the download completes, the computer will prepare the update. It will take your computer a lot longer than the given time displayed. For example, the computer may say it has "About 15 minutes remaining," but it can take up to 1-2 hours. Therefore, it may appear stuck but give the computer time. This is normal, and it is expected. Do not close the computer or restart during this part of the update.
4. Select Restart Now. Then, Enter the Password for your Computer.
Finally, once the "Preparing updates..." is completed, the "Update Now" button will be replaced with a button that says "Restart Now " This will install the update to the computer.
- You will be prompted with a user authentication window that says "Software Update is trying to authenticate user."
- Enter the password for your computer. This will restart the computer, and apply the updates.
5. Wait and Let the Magic Happen: Let the Computer Complete the Install Process (Less than 30 min.)
Since you are updating the macOS, the Apple logo or progress bar might persist for much longer than usual. As installation continues, the progress bar might move slowly and pause for long periods. That's why Apple recommends beginning macOS installation in the evening—so that it can complete overnight, if needed.
- Your Mac will restart, the screen will go black, and you will see the installation progress bar.
- Please note that the computer may restart several times during the install process. This is normal and expected behavior.
6. Log In to the Computer.
- When the update is completed, you will be presented with the login screen. This is your indicator that the update was successful.
7. Verify the Install was Successful
- Choose the Apple menu (top left of the screen) > "About This Mac" > and then select the "Software Update" button. If there are additional updates to apply, please proceed (e.g., Safari 15, etc.).