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macOS Sierra: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Appendix A. Installing macOS Sierra

If your computer came with macOS Sierra already installed on it, then you can skip this appendix—at least for now. But if you’re running an earlier version of the Mac operating system and want to really savor the Sierra experience, then this appendix is for you. It describes how to install the new OS on your Mac.

If you’re new in these parts, you may be in for a shock: You can’t buy Sierra in a box, or on a DVD. You’re supposed to download it from the Mac App Store.

There are some very attractive elements to the download-only system. For example, there’s no copy protection and no serial numbers to type in. There’s no cost to Apple for manufacturing or shipping, which may explain why Sierra isn’t even $20 or $30, like some of its predecessors—it’s free.

Now there’s no disc to hunt down later, when you want to install macOS again (onto a new Mac, for example).

And when you do need a copy again, you’ll download the latest version—10.12.3 or whatever it is—instead of having to install whatever updates have come out since you got your DVD.

(And what if you don’t have a fast Internet connection for downloading Sierra? The world won’t come to an end; read on.)

Hardware Requirements

For starters, you need to make sure you and your Mac have what it takes to handle Sierra—specifically:

  • A Mac that’s not a geezer. Sierra can run on any iMac or MacBook made in 2009 or later, or a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, or Mac Pro from mid-2010 or later.

    Note

    Some features—like ...

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