Updating your Mac to Big Sur4 min read

Big Sur is a Major update for your Mac and by the time I’ve written this it will probably be there.

This update moves the Mac closer to the way your other Apple devices operate, like your iPhone and iPad do with messages and notifications.

There are several additional features in this major update too.

When a major Apple update comes along for my Mac, like Big Sur1, I’m always a hesitant to jump straight in and update. I prefer to wait at least a couple of weeks to find out from others what their experiences are—before I do it.

The other thing to consider, not all of your apps on your Mac will be updated at the time of an Apple update release. It takes time for the app developers to update their software and this is another reason it’s prudent to wait a few weeks before you update.

Should you want the option to choose when you update, you can disable auto-updates.

Turn off/on auto-updates

Step 1:

Go to the Apple logo, top left-hand corner of your Mac. The Apple logo should be visible even if you have apps open.

Step 2:

Click the Apple logo and choose > Software Update

Step 3:

To turn off, make sure there is no check mark in (Automatically keep my Mac up-to-date). To turn it on, just make sure there is a tick in that box.

Close the window using the red button, top-left corner of the software update window and you are done.

Updating your Mac

The same process is used to update your Mac, but at step 3, click the update now button, but before you do, make sure you have a backup.

Back up your Mac first

The best way to back up your Mac is to get yourself an external hard drive. You can get them from most retailers. Just make sure they are already formatted to work on your Mac. Look for Mac in the product name of the drive, like this one and you should be ok.

This is an external hard drive product on the Office Works website2

This size should suit most people, but if you have tons of information, images and videos, you may need a bigger one. I currently use the 8 TB version, which has my family videos and images and my photography images for the last 18 years, so it can hold a lot.

In the near future, I’ll post some information on using iCloud for your Mac, which automatically backs up all the data on your Mac to the cloud.

I’ll also do another post on using Apple’s Time Machine, which is another way to back up the data on your Mac with an external hard drive. Time Machine automatically backs-up any new data on your Mac, every time you plug in an external hard drive. It’s what I use, and it works very well.

In the meantime, you can read this post from Apple3 on setting up iCloud on your Mac and for setting up the Time Machine.

References used for this post

  1. Big Sur Features
    https://www.apple.com/macos/big-sur/
  2. External Hard Drive for Mac on Office Works
    https://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/officeworks/p/wd-4tb-my-passport-portable-hard-drive-mac-blue-wdmpmc4bl
  3. Setting up iCloud and Time Machine on Mac
    https://support.apple.com/en-au/mac-backup

Ian Mackenzie

About the Author

Using technology has enabled Ian to work from home from since 2001 as a web designer and e-commerce owner. It even helped him make the great escape from Sydney to Nambucca Heads in 2005.

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