OS X El Capitan is scheduled to release to the public on Sept. 30 at 1 p.m. EST and so for those who want to download and install the new Mac operating system forthwith, we’ve pulled together instructions for preparing your Mac laptop or desktop for the installation and the instructions for how to it when it releases. Check them out below.
How To Download And Install Apple’s Latest OS X El Capitan Software On Your Computer
Step 1: Check For Compatibility
OS X El Capitan is compatible with most newer iMac and Macbook computers. The complete compatibility list is as follows:
- iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
- MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
- Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
- MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
- Xserve (Early 2009)
If you don’t know what kind of computer you have but it is currently running OS X Yosemite (10.10), OS X Mavericks (10.9), or Mountain Lion (10.8) then you are eligible to update.
Step 2: Check Free Space
The next step in preparing your Apple desktop or laptop computer for the OS X El Capitan is to make sure you have enough free space on your computer for the update.
OS X Yosemite was a 5.72GB install, so it’s safe to say that OS X El Capitan will probably be just as large. It’s a good rule of thumb to have about 10GB of hard drive space free for a speedier install.
If you find you don’t have enough space for the upgrade, doing a clean up of your old files, downloads etc. can help. There are tools available to help you with this such as DaisyDisk or my favorite, CleanMyMac.
Step 3: Back Up Your Data
Before you install El Capitan, you're going to want to back up your computer. Many of you will already have your computer on a regular backup routine. But if not, do it now as problems could occur that corrupt or delete your precious data. If you don't have Time Machine set up, you can also back up through Dropbox or Crashplan.
Step 4: Have Essential Apps You Use? Make Sure They’ll Be Compatible
One downfall to a brand new operating system is that many times it breaks favorite apps and then you are left frustrated and desperate for updated versions to release. If there are apps you use that you know you cannot do without, you can check about their compatibility at RoaringApps database.
Step 5: Download And Install El Capitan
So now that you Mac computer is prepped for the update, you’re ready to download when the new software drops. As noted before, OS X El Capitan should begin appearing in the App store under updates at 1 pm ET September 30. Here’s how to download it:
- Open the Mac App Store
- Click on the “ Updates” tab.
- Click the Download or Install button underneath the OS X El Capitan icon. The installer will then proceed to download.