Update Mountain Lion To Catalina


The classic OS X 10.12, or rather macOS upgrade, introduced tons of features anyone would still want on their Mac. Why? Because, it's well-tested and secure. Now we'll take a quick look at the legendary macOS Sierra upgrade. (In case you want to upgrade your Mac to macOS 10.13 High Sierra, check out this guide.)

  1. Update Mountain Lion To Catalina Bay
  2. Update Mac From Mountain Lion To Catalina
  3. Update Mountain Lion To Catalina Island

Interestingly, it first brought Siri to your Mac. This is great news for everyone who’s already used to her help on iOS. Then, there’s Watch unlocking for Mac, there’s one-click Apple Pay, tabs in apps, and cross-device copypasting. Just to name a few.

  • Hi Apple Community, I have a 2013 version MacBook Air. I was using OS Mojave before resetting my hard disk. After a successful reset, the battery died and the power went off but after powering the computer back on, I got the question mark folder on the screen against a black background.
  • Update Mountain Lion To Catalina Island Which macOS version is the latest? These are all Mac operating systems, starting with the most recent. When a major new macOS.

So, if you were on the fence about upgrading to Sierra, and in fact, any newer OS, go right ahead. Your Mac deserves a refreshment.

LEARN MORE: macOS High Sierra 10.13 - The New Features That Matter

How to upgrade macOS: Sierra 10.12 compatibility list

Update Os X Mountain Lion To Mavericks To confirm compatibility before downloading, check the minimum requirements for macOS Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan or Yosemite. You can also find compatibility information on the product-ID page for MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook, iMac, Mac mini or Mac Pro. Download El Capitan: High Sierra: METHOD: How to upgrade from L. If your computer already has Mac OS X Lion installed, Unibeast will just update Lion to Mountain Lion normally, without deleting any of your apps or files. A separate hard drive: Mac OS X needs its own hard drive (a minimum of 10 GB of space is required, but at least 50 GB of space is recommended).

As with the previous versions, macOS Sierra is available for a limited list of Mac models.
Here are the models of Macs that are compatible with macOS 10.12 and can upgrade to Sierra:

MacBook ProMacBook AirMac mini
Mid 2010 or newerLate 2010 or newerMid 2010 or newer
Mac Pro®MacBookiMac
Mid 2010 or newerLate 2009 or newerLate 2009 or newer

Does order matter when you upgrade macOS?

If your current operating system is OS X Lion (10.7), you can skip a few versions, and upgrade directly to macOS High Sierra. To upgrade to Sierra from, say, Mavericks, you’ll have to consequently upgrade to Yosemite and then to El Capitan first.

Check Your macOS for Sierra Compatibility

These OS versions can upgrade to Sierra:

  • OS X Mountain Lion v10.8 or Lion
  • OS X Mavericks v10.9
  • OS X Yosemite v10.10
  • OS X El Capitan v10.11

Here’s how to find out which OS version you’re running now:

  1. Click Apple icon in the top left corner.
  2. Choose About this Mac.
  3. There you have it, in capital letters.

Memory (RAM): 2 GB (preferably 4 GB)
Sierra is pretty lightweight, so you only need 2 GB of RAM to upgrade. Cool, eh?

Disk space: 8 GB of free space on drive.
In the same About this Mac menu select 'Storage' tab. In front of the multi-colored bar, you will see the phrase, 'X.XX GB free out of XX.XX GB.' If you don't have at least 8 GB of free space, you should delete some old files.

Before you update macOS, don’t forget to:

Clean up your Mac

This is essential if you want a fast and effortless update, and glitchless work of your new macOS. And it’s also pretty easy. To give your Mac a cleanup, you need to get rid of system junk, uninstall extra apps, and clean some old caches. If that sounds like a lot of work, you can get a Mac cleaner like CleanMyMac for the job.

How to update your Mac: Clean it up first

  1. Launch it.
  2. Hit Scan to find all the extra files you can delete.
  3. Press Run.

As you can see, I have 8.56 GB worth of caches, obsolete language files, broken downloads. You'll feel great getting rid of them.
That will give your Mac a basic system cleanup, but CleanMyMac is going to come in handy after the update as well. It monitors your Mac’s health, helps you speed up the system and remove unnecessary apps (Trashing doesn’t fully uninstall apps, by the way).

Back up your Mac

This is basic common sense before any Mac software update you’d like to undertake. Why? Well, because sometimes updates happen less smoothly than you’d like them to. To make sure you have all your information and files saved up neatly, you need a backup. To back up your Mac, you need to activate Time Machine.

  • Open your Applications folder.
  • Choose Time Machine.
  • 'Select Backup Disk…'
    Note: You may need to first choose to 'Set Up Time Machine.'
  • Choose where you'd like to store your backup.
  • Both an external drive or an Airport Time Capsule fit.
  • Switch the toggle on the left, from 'OFF' to 'ON.' Right beneath the name of your storage device, you'll see 'Oldest backup,' 'Latest backup,' and 'Next backup' — Your backup will begin within 5 minutes. To speed it up, click the arrow clock icon next to the Date & Time at the top-right of the menu bar and select 'Back Up Now.'

How to download macOS Sierra (or newer macOS) and install it

macOS Sierra is increasingly becoming a relic. Since 2020, the newest available macOS version is Big Sur. But it all comes down to hardware. Your Mac can only upgrade to the latest version its hardware can support. If your Mac is from around 2012 it can update as high up as to macOS Catalina. If your Mac is from 2010 or older, its limit is macOS High Sierra.

To download any new macOS and install it you’ll need to do the next:
1. Open System Preferences... in the  Apple menu.
2. Click on Software Updates.
On top of the list you'll see the latest macOS version your Mac can download. In our case, it's macOS Big Sur.

Another way to do it is via the Mac App Store.

  1. Open App Store.
  2. Click the Updates tab.
  3. You’ll see macOS updates available for your Mac.
  4. Click Update.

Wait for macOS download and installation. Your Mac will restart when it’s done.


Now you have a new OS.
For historic interest, this is how macOS Sierra looked back then when it was still available in the Mac App Store. Now, it can't be found there anymore.

Download macOS installers directly from Apple

For users of past operating systems Apple created a handy a list of macOS installers. They go as far back as to macOS Yosemite. The first 3 of them will open and start the update process automatically.

  • macOS High Sierra 10.13
    The 3 following installers will download macOS as a disk image (.dmg) After you unpack it, the macOS updater app will appear in your Applications.

We hope this guide has been of use, and don’t forget to clean up your Mac and back it up before you get the classic macOS! Cheers.

Operating system upgrades bring increases in efficiency, new features, stronger security, and updates to included software utilities. The following page shows you how to upgrade your Apple Macintosh desktop or laptop computer to Catalina (10.15), the current version of macOS.

Update Mountain Lion To Catalina Bay

  • Check compatibility.

Check compatibility

Before installing Catalina, verify your Mac is eligible for the upgrade.

Verify the model of your Mac

Update Mountain Lion To Catalina

Update Mac From Mountain Lion To Catalina

The following Mac models can be upgraded to macOS Catalina.

  • Mac Pro - All models produced from mid-2013 and later.
  • MacBook Pro - All models produced from mid-2012 and later.
  • iMac - All models produced from late 2012 and later.
  • MacBook - All models produced from late-2015 and later.
  • MacBook Air - All models produced from late-2012 and later.
  • Mac mini - All models from mid-2012 or later.

If your Mac is not on this list, you cannot upgrade to Catalina. However, you can still try to upgrade to El Capitan.

Back up your data

Although not required, we strongly recommend you back up your Mac before proceeding with an upgrade. If anything goes wrong, you can restore your Mac to its previous state.

Update Mountain Lion To Catalina Island

Check your OS version

The following versions of OS X and macOS can be upgraded to macOS Catalina.

    OS nameVersionRelease date
    OS X Lion*10.7July 20, 2011
    OS X Mountain Lion*10.8July 25, 2012
    OS X Mavericks10.9October 22, 2013
    OS X Yosemite10.10October 16, 2014
    OS X El Capitan10.11June 8, 2015
    macOS Sierra10.12June 13, 2016
    macOS High Sierra10.13June 5, 2017
    macOS Mojave10.14June 4, 2018

* If your Mac is running OS X Lion or Mountain Lion, you must upgrade to El Capitan before you can upgrade to Catalina.

If your Mac is running Mavericks or newer, you can proceed to upgrade to Catalina.

Upgrade to El Capitan, if necessary

If your Mac is running OS X Lion or Mountain Lion, follow these steps to upgrade to El Capitan.

  1. Download the El Capitan installer from Apple. The file size is 5.8 GB, so the download may take a while, depending on the speed of your Internet connection.
  2. Double-click the downloaded archive, InstallMacOSX.dmg, to view its contents.
  3. In the archive, double-click InstallMacOSX.pkg.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to perform a compatibility check, and prepare for installation.
  5. When this process is complete, an installer application named Install OS X El Capitan is placed in your Applications folder. Double-click it to begin installation.
  6. During installation, your Mac may restart, or display a blank screen short time. Do not close the lid or power off your Mac until installation is complete.

Upgrade to Catalina

After you've gone through the preparation steps, you need to download and install the latest version of macOS. The following steps show you how.

  1. In the menu bar, click the Apple icon to open the Apple menu.
  2. In the Apple menu, select App Store.
  1. In the App Store, on the left side of the window, select Updates.
  1. In the Updates window, locate the line that says Catalina.
  2. On the far right side, select Update.
  3. Catalina is downloaded and installed.
  4. During installation, your Mac may restart, or display a blank screen for a short time. Do not close the lid or power off your Mac until installation is complete.

Additional information

  • See our update definition for further information and related links.