This is how you prepare for the macOS Monterey release

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We had to wait a while, but tonight is finally the macOS Monterey release. With this update, you get all kinds of new features on your Mac. But before you press the update button: it is wise to prepare yourself well first! You should know this before installing the update.

macOS Monterey release: when?

The update will be released on Monday, October 25. Updates are usually available at 7:00 PM. This may be a little later or a little earlier, but assuming the punctual release of iOS 15, the update will be right on time this time.

Can you run macOS Monterey?

Make sure your Mac is compatible with macOS Monterey. You can see which Mac you have under ‘About this Mac’ via the apple at the top left. These are the suitable models:

  • MacBook (2016 and later)
  • MacBook Air (2015 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (2015 and later)
  • iMac & iMac Pro (Late 2015 and later)
  • Mac mini (Late 2014 and later)
  • Mac Pro (2013 and later)

Check your storage

It is difficult to predict exactly how much storage space you will need, because this often differs per Mac. Assume you need about 35 GB of free space: this is about the upper limit. You can check how much space you have like this:

  • Click on the apple at the top left.
  • Click “About This Mac.”
  • Click on ‘Storage’ and wait a moment.

Don’t have enough space? Then click on ‘Manage’. You will then be shown where your storage is going up, and how you can get some space back. Attachments, downloads, your trash: there is often something to be recovered in many places.

Prepare your apps

Most developers release updates to their apps just before the release of macOS. Install them before installing Monterey to make the update as smooth as possible.

Look in the App Store under ‘Updates’, and if necessary click on ‘Store>Reload page’ if you don’t see any updates yet. You will have to update apps that are not from the App Store separately. Think of the apps from Office, or video chat apps such as Teams and Zoom.

A backup won’t hurt

The update usually goes very smoothly, but it can sometimes get stuck. In that case, there is a chance that you will no longer be able to access your files. That’s why it’s always helpful to backup with Time Machine ahead of time. This is how you do this:

  • Connect an empty external drive or SSD to your Mac, which preferably has more storage than your Mac itself. Is the disk not empty? Then it will be erased in this process.
  • Go to ‘System Preferences>Time Machine’ and select the drive you have connected. Then confirm with ‘Use disk’.
  • Time Machine backs up all your files. Depending on the number of files and the speed of your external drive, this can take a few hours.

Patience is a virtue

Of course you prefer to get started with macOS Monterey right away. But there is always a chance that the update will still have some issues or bugs in the beginning, which will come out in the first few days. In that regard, it is not entirely unwise to wait a while before updating.

However, based on our experience with the betas, Monterey is already running well and there are no significant issues. But: our experience is limited to a few Mac models, so that’s not all!

macOS Monterey release: how to download the update

Monterey will be available to download for free from ‘System Preferences>Software Update’. When the update is out, click on ‘Update now’ here and go through the steps.

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