How to download and install macOS Catalina

How to download and install macOS Catalina

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How To 

The final version of macOS is ready to download

How to download and install macOS Catalina

(Image: © Shutterstock/Apple)

Welcome to our guide on how to download and install macOS Catalina, which is also known as macOS 10.15. 

Apple has now officially released the final version of macOS Catalina, which means that anyone with a compatible Mac or MacBook can now safely install it on their device.

As with previous versions of macOS, macOS Catalina is a free update which brings a number of cool new features. The process of installing the update is pretty straight forward, but as with any major OS update, there are certain risks and ways to mitigate them.

So, read on for our guide on how to download and install macOS Catalina, where we take you through each step to make the process as smooth as possible.

Download and install macOS 10.15 Catalina on compatible Macs

The latest MacBooks are compatible (Image credit: Apple)

1. Check your device is compatible

Before you download and install macOS Catalina, you’ll need to make sure that the Mac or MacBook you’re installing it on is able to run the software.

The good news is that if you have macOS 10.14 Mojave installed on your Mac or MacBook, then you’ll be able to run macOS 10.15 Catalina.

Here’s the full list of macOS Catalina-compatible devices:

  • 12-inch MacBook (2015 and later)
  • MacBook Air (2012 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (2012 and later)
  • Mac mini (2012 and later)
  • iMac (2012 and later)
  • iMac Pro (2017)
  • Mac Pro (2013 and later)

How to download and install macOS 10.15 Catalina

2. Back up your Mac before upgrading to macOS Catalina

Whenever you make the move to a fresh-off-the-shelf new operating system, 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 Catalina, 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.

3. Download macOS Catalina from the App Store

You can download and install macOS Catalina from the App Store on your Mac. Open up the App Store in your current version of macOS, then search for macOS Catalina. 

Click the button to install, and when a window appears, click “Continue” to begin the process.

You can also visit the macOS Catalina website, which features a download link for installing the software onto compatible devices. This will download macOS Catalina into your Applications folder. Once completed, the installer will open, and you can follow the onscreen instructions to install macOS Catalina on your Mac.

You might be asked to sign in with an administrator name and password during the process, so make sure you have those to hand.

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