Mac users are often intimidated by large upgrades, scared that they might lose data or end up dealing with installation errors that take up more time and energy than they anticipated, but the truth about upgrading is that it's actually relatively simple and easy. Even though upgrading your Mac can be intimidating, it's really about following the steps and waiting it out.
Yes, it takes some time to upgrade your Mac, but you aren't obligated to sit and stare at your Mac's progress during that time. Actually, it is better to go through the steps and let your Mac upgrade seamlessly on its own as it's designed to. In fact, most upgrade errors that occur are actually caused by user error, when users get impatient with the speeds of the upgrade process or try to use it while the upgrade is downloading and before the steps are complete.
Before upgrading, it is important to follow a few steps to simplify the process and avoid complications.
Set aside the time to upgrade- As I mentioned above, expect to be near your computer, even if you are just in the other room watching television or cooking dinner. Don't try to upgrade when you only have an hour until work, or will not be near your computer to finish the job!
Check your storage- Your Mac needs to have plenty of space to accommodate the upgrade. Before beginning, check your Mac's storage to make sure it has enough space. Generally, an upgrade is around 13 GB, but your Mac also needs space to do all that it does in a day. So, avoid upgrading unless you have at least 20 GB of free space on your Mac. If you don't, consider clearing up some space.
Consider your internet and location- What you are about to do requires a flat surface that will not absorb heat and that is close to your router. Don't upgrade your Mac on your bed. Find a flat surface that will allow the needed ventilation. Also, If you are far from your router, move closer. If there is a fridge, microwave, and other possible causes of Wi-Fi interference, change your Mac's location, so that you are getting the best internet speeds possible. If able, I recommend using an Ethernet cord so that you have the fastest speeds possible instead of Wi-Fi, though if you have good Wi-Fi and are within the range needed with your internet plan, don't worry about connecting directly to the router!
Back up your Mac- Make sure all your data is safe and sound, and follow along with me as I upgrade from MacOS Big Sur to MacOS Monterey. While date loss when upgrading isn't incredibly common, it can and does happen. So, backup your data. Don't skip this step before following along!
Plug in your Mac- If you don't plug in your Mac, you won't be able to upgrade (depending on which MacOS you currently have). The software will otherwise automatically prompt you to plug in your Mac.
To make your life easier, you can also set up automatic updates.
Now, let's get started! Follow along with me as I upgrade from MacOS Big Sur to MacOS Monterey!
Note: Some of these steps may vary depending on the version of MacOS you have and are upgrading to.