Here’s how to upgrade to macOS Monterey

Are you ready to try shortcuts, universal control and SharePlay in FaceTime? You can now download and install macOS Monterey on your Mac to try out these fascinating new features and more. Monterey is the best operating system for hyper-powerful Macs running on Apple chips and has some great privacy enhancements you wouldn’t want to miss.

What’s new in macOS 12 Monterey?

As someone called it on Reddit, Monterey is the perfect pandemic release. Adds new opportunities for online interaction and focused teleworking. Here’s what’s coming:

  • SharePlay: Upload movies and music in sync with your friends via FaceTime. Currently, SharePlay works with TikTok, Hulu, Disney + and HBO Max. More streaming platforms will be added in the future.
  • Live Text: A new feature supported by artificial intelligence that allows you to extract text from photos.
  • Shortcuts: You may have seen them on iOS. Shortcuts arrive on the Mac with Monterey to help you automate your flow by combining applications and setting up custom actions.
  • universal control: Move the cursor over Mac, iMac and iPad, naturally. Universal Control is an advanced upgrade to Apple’s continuity.

Note that some of the macOS Monterey features will not be available on Intel Macs. These include Live Text, enhanced folders, and several smaller ones.


macOS Monterey compatibility

Before you start updating macOS, make sure your Mac is listed as a compatible device:

  • MacBook Air (early 2015 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (early 2015 and later)
  • MacBook (early 2016 and later)
  • Mac mini (late 2014 and later)
  • Mac Pro (late 2013 and later)
  • iMac (late 2015 and later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 and later).

macOS Monterey release date

Monterey became available on October 25, 2021. The Developer Preview, and later the public beta, have been available since early June, so the bravest users have already tried the Monterey benefits and even reported a few issues. But no worries, it’s easy to fix.

How to download and install macOS Monterey on a Mac

The process of installing Monterey on your Mac involves several steps: first, you’ll need to back up the data you care about, just to make sure it won’t be lost; second, clean your Mac to free up space for a new installation. Finally, you will be ready to download Monterey and install it on your Mac. Let’s dive into every step.

Back up your Mac before upgrading to macOS Monterey

Backing up your Mac is a wise thing to do from time to time. If you are upgrading macOS (especially if it is beta), a backup is required. The fact is that beta versions can be unstable, and even if you introduce an upgrade over your current system, which theoretically shouldn’t delete your data, something could go wrong and you may lose access to the contents of your disk.

You can back it up with Time Machine, it’s relatively quick and easy. However, Time Machine tends to create a lot of redundant backups, which makes a mess of your system. A better solution would be to use Get Backup Pro or ChronoSync Express.

Get Backup Pro is a great tool that can make startup clones and scheduled backups in a very flexible way. You can choose exactly which files you want to back up to avoid backing up the entire disk. Here’s how it works:

  1. Open the app and click “+” in Backups
  2. Select where you want to store the backup under “destination”
  3. Select File + to add the files you want to back up
  4. Click Start to begin the process.

back up your data before upgrading to the new macOS

ChronoSync Express is a good tool for backing up folders. In addition, you can use it for other tasks such as synchronizing the contents of different folders. Both Get Backup Pro and ChronoSync are part of the Setapp subscription, so you can try both for free and see what works best.

Free up storage space for macOS Monterey

Every year, when Mac users get ready to update macOS, dozens of questions on Reddit read “how much space does the new macOS take up?” This is an important question because your Mac should have that much free space. Especially if you decide to install macOS Monterey on a partition (half of your disk), chances are high that you will need to free up some storage space first.

CleanMyMac X will help you get rid of system clutter, old caches and all sorts of unnecessary things that accumulate on your Mac. Of course, this frees up a lot of space. But that’s not the only reason why millions of people love CleanMyMac X. The app can detect malware, notify you of a bit of RAM, suggest optimization processes, and more.

To free up storage space with CleanMyMac X, run Smart Scan> Remove. That’s it. You don’t have to go through different folders and locations on your Mac to delete files, although you can preview the scan results before clicking the Remove button if you want.

clean your Mac before upgrading

Tip: The latest recommendation is to free up 20 GB of space for macOS Monterey, but in reality it is never clear how much space the new macOS will take up, so just try to free up as much as possible. For deeper cleaning, go through each individual module to delete system trash, mail attachments, and files from the Recycle Bin. You can also use Uninstaller to get rid of unnecessary applications.

Download and install macOS Monterey

Everything is backed up and with good storage, you can now upgrade to macOS Monterey. We recommend that you install it on a partition and try out all the features with your current system – it’s simply easier to go back in case you don’t like the new Monterey. Here’s how to create a partition. When you are ready to install Monterey, follow these steps:

  1. From the Apple menu, select About This Mac

  2. Click Software Update in the Overview section

  3. Click Update Now and follow the instructions.

Installing the update may take some time, so make sure you don’t have anything important to do on your Mac in the next hour or two.

Update macOS in About this Mac

Install macOS Monterey on the partition

The partition basically splits your disk in half. Since macOS Monterey can take up about 20 GB, you should ensure that half of your disk has that amount of space if it is formatted in Mac OS Extended (this is a challenge unless you clean CleanMyMac X!). Here’s how to partition a disk:

  1. Access the Disk Utility and select your main disk under “Internal”
  2. Click Partition in the top menu
  3. With the APFS format, you will be able to easily add extra volume to your disk
  4. With Mac OS Extended, you must partition your disk (it is possible to select the amount of storage you want on the newly created part of the disk).

You can now install the macOS Monterey beta on the partition. To access a specific partition, hold down the Option key during startup.

Get the basic tools to update macOS Monterey

Get Backup Pro, ChronoSync Express and CleanMyMac X – the apps you’ll need to back up and clean your Mac before installing Monterey – easily accessible using Setapp, a productivity platform for Mac and iPhone users.

Monterey set of upgrade tools by Setapp

Setapp has more than 220 applications, but best of all, it suggests collections of applications based on your tasks. For example, you can find a toolkit ready to use for macOS updates in the Collections section. Try it for 7 days for free.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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