Will your Mac handle macOS Sierra?

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The end of OS X draws nigh, with a replacement waiting in the wings: macOS will be taking over Apple’s notebooks and desktops later this year.

Apple’s name change was revealed, with all of 10.12 Sierra’s new features, at WWDC. There’s a whole lot to get excited about, but first you need to make certain that you’re going to get in on macOS.

That’s right – some MacBooks, iMacs or Mac Pros will not be getting upgraded on launch day. Apple won’t be supporting certain older hardware. That means you’re stuck with OS X. Or you could go for a hardware update.

If you want to upgrade, this is how you find out whether you’re in line to do so.

Does My Mac Support MacOS Sierra?

Depends. Does your Mac belong in a museum? If you’re rocking anything from 2010 and onwards, you’re good to go.

If your MacBook is older than 2009? Then you’re not going to have any macOS love. That MacBook Air made prior to 2010? We’re so sorry for your loss.. A MacBook Pro, Mac Mini or Mac Pro from the same geological period? OS X for you.

Any iMacs made before 2009 are in the same boat. If your Apple hardware doesn’t support AirDrop, Continuity, or Apple’s Metal graphics API, you’re not going to be able to upgrade to Sierra.

If you’re not on the exclusion list? Then you’re all set, but it’s a good idea to make sure that all of your updates are installed before Sierra becomes available.

Upgrade Ready?

Siri MacWhat do we always do first? That’s right, back it all up. We’ve got a guide to backing up your drive or SSD right here – it might be OS X Yosemite-specific but you can still use the same steps to back up your current OS..

The only people that can upgrade right now are developers. And you can’t just pretend to be one, you need to be enrolled in Apple’s Developer Program (which has an annual subscription fee that outweighs the benefits of subscription access). If you meet these requirements, you probably don’t need any further directions. For the easily-lost: hit the Apple Developer Download Center and follow the prompts. On a fast line, you’ll probably be done about sixty minutes later.

Non-devs can travel to the Apple Beta Software Program and log in with their Apple ID. Skip the upgrade check, since you’ve just covered that – just follow the prompts and you’ll end up with a beta profile on your iThing. Then watch your inbox for (hopeful) access. Apple will be sending those out come July this year.

If you’re the type to eschew beta programs then September’s your best bet for an official release – historically speaking. Apple launched El Capitan last year on 30 September and we know how punctual (and somewhat predictable) their launch dates have become.

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