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Apple OS X 10.10 Yosemite: What to know and do before upgrading your Mac

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Apple is now rolling out OS X 10.10 Yosemite as a free upgrade to Mac users, which can be downloaded from the Mac App Store.

Before downloading and installing Yosemite though, there are certain steps that users should take to ensure the integrity of the installation of the operating system.

First and foremost, users should make sure that the Mac where the Yosemite will be installed is compatible with the new operating system.

A Mac running Mavericks will surely be able to run Yosemite.

If the computer is not running on Mavericks, the complete list of compatible Macs are:

  • iMac (Mid-2007 onwards)
  • MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 onwards)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid-2009 onwards), (15-inch, Mid/Late 2007 onwards), (17-inch, Late 2007 onwards)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 onwards)
  • Mac Mini (Early 2009 onwards)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 onwards)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

However, if the Mac is running an OS that is older than Snow Leopard, the user will be forced to first install Snow Leopard before being able to upgrade to Yosemite. While the recent updates to the OS X is free, Snow Leopard isn't, which users will have to purchase for $19.99.

Yosemite will require 2GB RAM and 8GB of available space for installation. Of course, additional RAM will just make the system work better.

Before downloading the installation, it is recommended that users already update the apps on their Macs so that they will immediately be operational once the installation of Yosemite is complete. Upgrades for operating systems for Macs generally go smoothly, but it is always recommended that users back up their files just in case. In addition, users who might want to try out Yosemite first before committing to a full installation can choose to create a separate partition where the OS can be installed.

Users can then proceed with downloading Yosemite from the Mac App Store using their personal Apple ID. The application will be saved to the computer's Applications folder, located at the hard drive's root.

The download itself already takes up 5GB, so users with slow Internet connections should probably leave the download on overnight.

Once the download is complete, launch the installer and go through the steps to finally get Yosemite on the Mac. For users who choose to install on a specific partition, choose the correct one when given the option to install Yosemite there.

Once the installation completes, users will then have the power of OS X 10.10 Yosemite at their disposal.

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