How to Prepare Your Mac For macOS Catalina: A Foolproof Checklist

Apple's new macOS update intends to make our mean machines smarter, faster and smoother. Here's how you can prepare your Mac for macOS Catalina to enable a seamless, hassle-free, quick and proper update.

Are you as excited about Catalina macOS as I am? However, we often overlook some important aspects when we are too excited. This is why I have taken a few necessary and some precautionary steps to ensure my device is ready for macOS Catalina.

If you don’t want the excitement or any ignorance, get the better of you and your device? Here’s how you can prepare your Mac for macOS Catalina update. Though quite simple, most of these have been my go-to steps during the past updates as well. And if I may boast, this list shall sail you through all most all issues you may face before, during, and after the update.

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How to Get Your Mac Ready for macOS Catalina

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#1. Device Compatibility Check for macOS Catalina

Before we jump on to other steps to prepare for macOS Catalina, it is essential to know whether your device’s compatibility. While we have made an extensive list of compatible devices, here’s a mini version of the list:

  • MacBook  – 2015 or later
  • MacBook Air – Mid 2012 or later
  • MacBook Pro – Mid 2012 or later
  • Mac mini – Late 2012 or later
  • iMac – Late 2012 or later
  • iMac Pro – All models
  • Mac Pro – Late 2013 or later

In case you can’t remember your machine’s version, then click on Apple icon () → About This Mac for details.

Click on Apple icon and Choose About This Mac and Check macOS Version

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While your laptop or desktop is compatible with macOS Catalina, is it compatible with the apps on your devices?

#2. Check Catalina Support for Critical Apps

An update brings some big and small changes to the operating system of the device. To maintain compatibility and ease of usage, apps have to accordingly update their coding. Most notable apps take the changes into consideration and thus incorporates alterations during the beta period. However, there can still be bugs and performance issues that need some TLC.

The macOS Catalina brings about a massive transition for apps, from 32-bit to 64-bit. Wherein the update only supports 64-bit apps, and all 32-bit apps will be rendered useless. While this action paves the path for faster processing time, this also implies more memory storage.  Although not all apps have jumped the wagon with Apple, this might mean some of your favorite app malfunctionings. Here’s how you can check the status of all apps:

How to Check for 32-bit Apps on Mac

Step #1. Click on the Apple icon () in the top left corner of the screen and select About This Mac.

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Click on Apple icon and Choose About This Mac and Check macOS Version

Step #2. Here, click on System Reports.

Click on System Reports in About This Mac

Step #3. Scroll to locate the Software section and select Applications.

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Scroll Down to Software and Select Applications in System Reports on Mac

Step #4. On the page, check out the column labeled 64-Bit (Intel). Any app that has a No in this column is not a 64-bit app.

Check for 32-bit Apps in System Reports on Mac

Once you figure out the non-compatible apps, update them, if available. If not, look for a suitable replacement before you upgrade to macOS Catalina. Though if one of your critical apps is only available in 32-bit, then you have to hold the update until the app is available in 64-bit.

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#3. Make Some Space to Install macOS Catalina

Though the update might not be too big, having few extra GBs of free space does not hurt. In fact, this may efficacies the download and installation process of macOS Catalina. You can optimize the storage of your Mac in multiple ways, from removing duplicate files to deleting unrequired apps or 32-bit apps.

This also ensures that you Mac is freshly prepared for the new update and the multitude of features it is about to offer. Moreover, it is always a wise idea to organize your files and documents before downloading a new update so that no file goes missing; which brings us to our pointer.

#4. Keep That Data Safe

The most obvious step before updating any operating system, whether you are upgrading iPhone or Mac. While an update doesn’t directly affect your data, but there is a minuscule chance of some issue. Why risk your precious data? A fresh backup will always come in handy when things go haywire during the update installation.

Remember, it’s always better to be safe than to be sorry later. You can either use the trusty Time Machine or any cloud storage that you prefer.

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#5. Keep Your Apple ID and Password handy

If you are not amongst the users, who have their IDs and passwords committed to the memory, then this is a significant step. While you are preparing for macOS Catalina, ensure that you keep these details jotted down and handy. Once the update is complete, you will need to log in to your iCloud account to proceed further.

#6. Menial Checkpoints

Here are a few small but essential tips to keep in mind before downloading macOS Catalina

  • Your laptop should be fully charged or plugged in
  • Ensure a stable internet connection
  • The update may take some time, so start the procedure after the working hours or when you don’t plan to use the device for long.

#7. Wait and Read before you Download macOS Catalina

As funny as this may sound, it is a crucial decision to make. While the new update might excite you with all its unique features such as Sidecar or Apple Arcade. However, the update has some slight issues that you might have to consider; for instance, if you have an older device, the whole 32-bit to 64-bit transition might eat up a lot of space and ultimately affect your productivity.

Further, as of now, DJs and entertainers should hold their horses, and their beloved XML libraries are no longer supported on Catalina. Majorly a resultant of no iTunes, the support shall take some time to arrive. Adobe Creative Suite lovers should also wait as Catalina is presenting Photoshop incompatibility issues. Notably, knowing Apple, these bugs are just temporary, so you might just have to wait a little more before downloading the update.

That’s all for now!!

Whether you decide to do it now or wait for some time, I wish you a fruitful and smooth update. Though, if you face any issue during the update, try these troubleshooting hacks. Also, don’t forget to let us know your experience with the new update, I would love to hear your views and reviews. You can connect with us in the comment section below or on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

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I will see you the next time with more such exciting insights. Meanwhile, don’t forget to download our iOS app for regular updates about the Apple ecosystem.

Jignesh Padhiyar
Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of who has a keen eye for news, rumors and all the unusual stuff that happens around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting contents on social media.
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