How to prepare your Mac for MacOS Mojave

Make way for Mojave.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops | Desktops | All-in-one PCs | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
3 min read

Apple will release the latest version of its Mac operating system on Monday, Sept. 24. MacOS Mojave will introduce a number of new features and enhancements to your Mac. Stacks will help you keep a tidy desktop. You'll also get an honest-to-goodness Dark Mode along with an awesome dynamic wallpaper that slowly changes its lighting throughout the day. Also onboard is a new screenshot tool, an improved Finder and Safari favicons. These are just some of the best new features of MacOS Mojave,

Before MacOS Mojave (version 10.14) arrives, here's what you need to do to get your Mac ready for the update.

Watch this: We took a spin around MacOS Mojave public beta and here's what we found

Mojave compatibility list

The first thing to do as you prepare for MacOS Mojave is to check if your Mac is compatible; not all Macs will be able to make the leap. According to Apple, Mojave is compatible with "Macs introduced in mid-2012 or later, plus 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro models with recommended Metal-capable graphics cards."

Breaking it down, the Mac models compatible with MacOS Mojave are:

To check the vintage of your Mac, click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner and then click About This Mac. Under the OS listed at the top, you'll see the year of your model next to its name.

Make room for Mojave

Even if you have ample room on your Mac's hard drive, I recommend using any OS upgrade as an excuse to do a little housekeeping. Delete old apps or files you don't need, or move some folders and files to the cloud via iCloud Drive (or your preferred cloud storage service) or an external drive. It's one of the ways you can speed up your Mac.

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Back up before updating

Before you perform a major operation like installing a new OS, you should always perform a system backup to protect your data. Should the installation go awry, you don't want to lose important documents along with your photo and music libraries. Thankfully, Macs include a tool that make backups easy: Time Machine. Learn how to back up your Mac.

Download and install

MacOS Mojave is available as a free update via the Mac App Store. To get it, open the Mac App Store and click the Updates tab. MacOS Mojave should be listed at the top after it's released. Click the Update button to download the update.

Alternatively, you can click the Apple icon in the top left of your display, click About This Mac, and then click the Software Update button, which will open the Mac App Store app and prompt it to check for the update. You can track the progress of your download on the Purchased tab of the Mac App Store.

After Mojave finishes downloading, just follow the prompts of the installation wizard to install it. (When it comes time for future updates to Mojave, you'll find that Mojave has moved system updates from the App Store to a new location.)

MacOS Mojave: Everything you need to know