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Mac OS Catalina - should you get it?

 

If you own an Apple computer, then will probably be offered the Catalina upgrade within your computer some time in September or October. The offer will pop up on your screen from time to time, and will be displayed within the updates section of your Mac. However, this upgrade is more than a minor update.

 

As always, the upgrade to the "Catalina" version of Apple's operating system, will have some improvements and new features.

Yet there are a number of reasons to hesitate if thinking of taking
the upgrade, and here are just a few examples ...

First, Apple always advises to ensure that you have a complete and extensive backup of everything that is in your computer now - before you allow the upgrade in. A backup is an extra copy of all photos, documents, applications, software, contacts, even settings etc. Everything of value, copied onto an external hard drive, or other backup location.

 

Why? Upgrades of this magnitude, can potentially go wrong and leave you with a non-functional or sluggish computer, which we often see following Mac OS "upgrades". Many computers are fine with the upgrade, but the risk is there, so Apple recommends backup copies.

 

If you are not sure about your backup status, or how to check that its working, you can drop us a line, phone us or make an appointment to get some help to set up a backup system. Having a backup system, and keeping it in use is a lot easier than many people imagine. It takes advantage of Apple software designed to make backups easy for you. We can supply a backup drive and get its backup process started.  And after that, the backup system mostly looks after itself. We can show you how to easily check periodically that the backup is actually there.

The second thing to check, if considering upgrading to Catalina, is whether your computer has enough raw power to run the new software system at a decent speed. You might not be aware that improvements - to RAM and hard drive for example - can be advisable first. Some older Apple Macs that are running old versions of the Apple system can definitely benefit from an upgrade, but sometimes Mojave is not the only option that should be considered. We can assist with the decision whether to, in fact, upgrade to an earlier version of Mac OS such as Hi Sierra and Mojave - which both still receive security updates from Apple at the time of writing.

The third is to check whether there are any applications or programmes that you currently rely on, which will not run properly, or at all, on Catalina. This issue occurs a lot more frequently than some people would think.

 

Finally, at times people turn to an upgrade of Apple Mac OS thinking it will improve a problem that is plaguing their Mac. If your Mac is sluggish, slow to boot, running out of space, running hot, noisey or "other issues" it might well be that a quite different upgrade, such as more RAM memory, a faster hard drive, cooling system clean-out, or just plain old maintenance, might be a much more beneficial action, that puts a smile on the face of your Mac again.

Note that this is just a general overview of some of things to keep in mind in considering an upgrade of your Mac system, and should not be relied on as a substitute for specific advice regarding your own unique situation.