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How to Download and Update to macOS Monterey?

Updated on Friday, June 14, 2024

iBoysoft author Connie Yang

Written by

Connie Yang
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee


Summary: A tutorial about preparations and detailed steps for downloading and updating to macOS 12 Monterey.

macOS monterey downloading and updating

If you are tired of the frequent Software Update notifications, why not update your Mac? The old macOS obstructs you to test the added features of the new system.

Moreover, if you insist on using the old OS (check all macOS versions), your Mac will:

  • Run slower with occasional crashes.
  • Have a higher risk of virus or malware attack.
  • Stop working after some apps are updated.

So, to enable your Mac to work properly even with performance improvements, updating to the latest operating system is imperative. Well, this post offers detailed steps about how to download and update to the latest system - macOS Monterey.

macOS download and update

Preparations for macOS 12 Monterey download and update

We know that the new macOS Monterey with powerful features itches you to have a try. However, updating to a new macOS is not a minor matter. If anything goes wrong, your Mac won't update. And you may encounter issues like 'macOS Monterey cannot be installed on Macintosh HD'.

You should do some preparations in advance. They decide whether you can upgrade to macOS Monterey successfully or not.

1. Verify compatibility for macOS Monterey

Not all Mac machines are allowed to install macOS Monterey. The officially confirmed devices that are compatible with macOS 12 include:

  • Mac Pro (2013 or later)
  • Mac mini (2014 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (2015 or later)
  • MacBook Air (2015 or later)
  • iMac (2015 or later)
  • MacBook (2016 or later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 or later)

If your Mac is not officially compatible with macOS 12, then a tutorial on how to install macOS Monterey on an unsupported Mac may be well-timed for you.

2. Create a Time Machine backup

It is necessary to back up your Mac before updating to macOS 12 Monterey, because not each macOS updating will succeed. Once your macOS update failure occurs, such as macOS 13 Ventuta being stuck during the update, your Mac files become inaccessible.

To back up your Mac, you need to use the Time Machine utility:

Step 1: Connect an HFS+ formatted external hard drive to your Mac. (If your Mac runs macOS Big Sur, format the external hard drive to APFS)

Step 2: Click the Apple menu > System Preferences > Time Machine.

Step 3: Choose the external hard drive as the backup destination.

Step 4: Click Back Up Now.

If you want to get more details about how to back up your Mac, please read: How to back up your Mac with Time Machine.

3. Check the space of your Mac hard drive

A macOS download and installation requires enough free space, or the process will fail. Usually, a macOS update needs at least 20GB free storage and 2GB memory. If there's no sufficient free space, clear up more storage and free up memory on your Mac.

However, as macOS Big Sur asks over 33GB free to install it, you'd better remain at least 33GB for the upcoming macOS Monterey installer.

If you don't have enough disk space or the Mac disk is almost full, you can delete the unnecessary videos, apps, or other files to free up more storage space on Macintosh HD.

4. Make sure your Mac has enough power

The macOS download and update process is quite long, from half an hour to hours. You'd better connect your Mac to the power source when you conduct the macOS download and update procedure.

If your Mac powered off during the process, you would fail to update to macOS 12 Monterey and have to try again.

How to download and update macOS 12 Monterey?

After you have finished the preparations mentioned above, you can get down to download macOS 12 to update your Mac.

Way 1: Download macOS Monterey in System Preferences

Step 1: Click the Apple icon in the upper left of your Mac screen.

Step 2: Choose System Preferences > Software Update.

Download and update macOS in Software Update in System Preferences

The system will automatically check for available updates on Mac. If it remains unchanged for hours, it is most likely that it can't find software updates on Mac or the Mac stuck on "Checking for updates" screen, then you need to fix it to continue macOS installation.

Step 3: Click the Upgrade Now button on the Software Update window to download the macOS Monterey installer.

Upgrade to macOS Monterey in Software Update

Way 2: Download macOS Monterey from App Store

Step 1: Open Apple Store and search for macOS Monterey. Or you can go to the Apple Support site and find macOS Monterey, it will transit to your App Store.

Step 2: Click Get.

Uninstall apps in Finder

The macOS download process not only gets the macOS 12 Monterey installer, but it also downloads the updates of your Mac apps, such as Safari, Mail, iTunes, and FaceTime. And it will take place in the background, which won't block your normal use of your Mac.

If you don't want to manually update macOS every time the new one releases, check "Automatically keep my Mac up to date".

Update to macOS Monterey

After getting the macOS Monterey installer, you can follow these instructions to upgrade your Mac to macOS 12 Monterey.

Step 1: Click Continue to install the macOS Monterey when the OS installer is downloaded. (Mac stuck on Terms and Conditions?)

Step 2: Waiting for the installation finishes.

 Note: Don't put your Mac in sleep or close the MacBook's lid until the macOS update is finished.

Your Mac will restart automatically after the update completes. Then, you'll enjoy your macOS 12 and explore the new interface and features.

Final thoughts

Usually, the new macOS can offer performance improvements, software compatibility enhancements, some bug patches, etc. This post guide you stepwise to download and update to the macOS 12 Monterey. Hope you can enjoy the new experience that macOS Monterey brings to you.

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