Goodbye Mac OS X and hello macOS Sierra. Apple announced at WWDC 2016 that its new operating system for its Mac computers and MacBook laptops has been given a new name – and a lot of exciting new features.
Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, makes its debut on Apple’s desktop operating system, allowing users to control their Macs using just their voice. If you have an iPhone, then it will also work even better with your Mac running macOS Sierra thanks to improved Continuity features.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about macOS Sierra is that it is now available to download as a public beta from beta.apple.com, while the full version will be available in the Fall.
The macOS Sierra public beta is an early version of the software so you should expect to encounter some bugs and problems. If you don’t want your Mac or Macbook crashing at random times while you’re working, we’d strongly recommend waiting until the final stable release of macOS Sierra later this year.
Check your Mac can run macOS Sierra
Before downloading and installing macOS Sierra public beta you’ll want to make sure that your Mac can run the new software. If you want to run macOS Sierra on a laptop you’ll need a MacBook from late 2009 or better, or a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro from 2010 or later.
If you’ve got an iMac, you’ll be okay with a model from late 2009 or better, and as for the Mac mini or Mac Pro, you’ll need one from 2010 or later.
Back up your Mac before installing macOS
Whenever you upgrade your operating system – and especially when you’re trying out a beta version – we highly recommend backing up the files on your Mac, so if anything goes wrong you can quickly restore your machine to its previous working order.
So, before you download and install macOS Sierra, make sure your Mac is backed up. For information on how to do this, head over to our ultimate guide to backing up your Mac
How to download macOS Sierra public beta
Once signed up for the Apple Developer Program, you can download the public beta of macOS Sierra. Go to the Apple Beta Software Program website and follow the instructions to download and install macOS Sierra public beta onto your Mac
At the bottom of the page you’ll see a button labelled ‘Sign up’. Click it and then sign in with your Apple ID.
You’ll see an Apple Beta Software Program Agreement page – here tap on ‘Accept’. Once you have signed up you’ll get an email inviting you to download the macOS Sierra public beta software.