Help on upgrading Mac OS X 10.9


alexm370

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Hi Guys,
I have an iMac 27" late 2010 or Mid 2011, need to verify at home, running 10.9.5 and it is running fine but some programs that I use, are not letting me upgrade anymore, since 10.10 is the new minimum requirement. My question is, which Mac OS X version should I upgrade to? 10.10, 10.11 or 10.12? I have 16GB RAM. I'd probably do a clean install, but don't want to go to the latest if the computer becomes sluggish. What's the best OS in your experience? Thanks in advance.
 

honestone

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Your Mac actually can run all the recent versions of the Mac OS, all the way up to the most current version of High Sierra, OS 10.13.6. However, a new version of the Mac OS, Mojave, will be arriving in the fall (but it is best to insure that any third party apps you have are compatible with OS 10.14). In actuality, you will need to upgrade some/most/all of your third party apps no matter which newer OS you upgrade to.

High Sierra runs best with Macs that have SSDs as their internal drives. If yours has s standard HDD, and especially if it spins at "only" 5400 rpm, High Sierra could be slow. Sierra would be a good choice, but not sure how "easy" it is to get from the App Store.

A clean installation is an excellent idea, after )of course) making one final backup of your current system. Hopefully you are making frequent backups (if you are, what software are you using?), and also you have been doing disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs, from a software perspective, again on a frequent basis.
 
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alexm370

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Thanks for the reply! Yes, my iMac still runs on HDD. I have Time Machine to a Local USB Drive and Carbonite onver the Internet. Most of the softare installed I rarely use these days, so it would be a good opportunity to get a good clean up. A also use CleanMyMac Software regularly.

So, in your opinion OS 10.12 Sierra would be my best option?

Thanks again for your response :)
 
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honestone

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CleanMyMac used to be "problematic" (from what I understand), but it seems to have improved. However, I much prefer the excellent free software Onyx:

https://www.titanium-software.fr/en/onyx.html

It is rock solid, has been around a long, long time, and has had many positive reviews. I use it religiously (along with a commercial program entitled Tech Tool Pro). I would not be without either of them. In fact, I will not upgrade to a new Mac OS until there are compatible versions of both of them for the new OS (along with 4 other critical programs that I have). Note that there are different versions of Onyx available, for each different Mac OS. You would need to get the correct version for the Mac OS you are using.

Sierra would be a good option, and yes, you need to take an inventory of whatever third party software you have, in case you need upgrades.

It would help if you could let us know the exact Mac model you have. Also, if you can down load the Install macOS Sierra file (it will be in your Applications folder), make a copy of it in another location. However, I do not know how "easy" it is going to be for you to do the clean installation , and then "migrate/copy" needed stuff, with a Time Machine backup. I use SuperDuper! for my backups, the subsequent process of clean installation and "migrating/copying" is much more straight forward (plus I have more control over it).
 
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Allen Davis

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As usual, Honestone is offering sound advice. Personally, with a Mac your age, I'd steer as far from High Sierra as possible. On my 2010 iMac, High Sierra is intolerably slow. The cursor gets jerky and the system stutters and stalls even under light CPU loads. Sierra (10.2.x) has been one of the most stable versions of macOS I've seen in years. And it can be downloaded from Apple, but you'll have to be patient in your search. For some reason, Apple seems to move it around and it took me a week to locate it for a simple download (not install). When I went back, it was gone.

As for your OS upgrading, if you have applications you love and rely on and can't get upgrades for (like myself and all my pre-Cloud Adobe Creative software), you would be well advised to be cautious.

For example, I have Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection 4. It was splendid under Yosemite and El Capitan. Under Sierra, I lost the ability to use a lot of Photoshop and Illustrator add-ons, especially filters and brushes. (That's why I keep bootable "clones" around with older macOS versions around.)

Apple has slowly been dropping support for all non-64 bit native software incrementally ever since Sierra. It got much, much worse under High Sierra. macOS Mojave (10.14) will not even launch non-64-bit software. And since I'm adamant about never paying Adobe a dime to rent their software, I'll have to labor along with with Sierra as my OS ceiling unless and until I can find viable alternatives to CS.
 

honestone

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Again, Allen is right on the money with his post! So unless you can install an SSD inside your iMac, High Sierra would not be the way to go. Sierra (as Allen said) would be a good choice, as long as you can find it in the App Store (I actually still have a copy of the (last) Install macOS Sierra file). Given that I am "all SSD" (inside both of my MaCS, And my 2 external SSDs), I probably don't need it anymore. If you want, contact me through this site (EMail is fine), and maybe we can make some arrangements for you to get that Sierra file (as long as you are in the US)).

Also, Allen's point about the need to upgrade some/most/all of your third party apps is correct. This link can help you with that:

https://roaringapps.com/apps

Finally, the only thing about using an older OS is that it will be less and less supported, especially for security updates (the same could apply for third party apps). Apple has still been releasing security updates for Sierra (and El Capitan, and Yosemite also), but not sure how long that will continue for.
 
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Allen Davis

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Finally, the only thing about using an older OS is that it will be less and less supported, especially for security updates (the same could apply for third party apps). Apple has still been releasing security updates for Sierra (and El Capitan, and Yosemite also), but not sure how long that will continue for.
This is true. Which means I'll find myself more and more at the tender mercies of the ladies and gents who keep Norton Security up-to-date. But where that's concerned, I've questioned just how good that kind of "protection" really is in the last year.

My iMac was constantly inundating me with Norton alerts and requests for immediate updates for about three months. I'd drop anything I was doing and attend to it. That was running Yosemite. For whatever reason, the alerts are now few and far in between and only take a few seconds to update. I have to assume those pop-up Norton alerts include new virus/malware definitions I need to remain safe.

Under Sierra on my 2012 MBP, I've only had a single Norton alert pop up in the last year. I also have to assume that since Yosemite is an aging OS, it might well have vulnerabilities later versions don't have.
 
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honestone

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You might want to consider investing in ClamXAv:

https://www.clamxav.com/sectors/home-use/

As you can see, it can be used in demo mode, but I eventually purchased it a couple of months ago. While I don't have it running in the background, it has been invaluable to me a couple of times.
 

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