At the end of the month, Mac users will be treated to a free software update with the release of OSX 10.11 El Capitan. Before heading to the App Store on September 30, ask yourself the following questions to make sure you can take advantage of the newest OSX features right away.
Is my Mac compatible?
While the update to El Capitan is free and easy to install, it is not compatible with all Mac models. Luckily, however, Apple has made OSX 10.11 available to all Macs that could install 10.9, so if you are running Mavericks or Yosemite your Mac will supported. In addition, your computer must have at least 2GB of RAM installed and at least 8GB of free space on your hard drive in order to run and install El Capitan.
Is my current operating system up to date?
Before you upgrade to the new version of OS X, make sure you install the latest updates to whichever operating system you are running, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks or Yosemite. If you are running an earlier operating system, you must at upgrade to at least Snow Leopard so you will have access to the App Store, where OSX 10.11 will download from.
Have I backed up my Mac?
While no one anticipates glitches in the update process, it's always better to stay safe by backing up your Mac. Before downloading the software, test the back up to be sure you have a reliable contingency plan in case there is an error.
Do I have an iCloud account?
El Capitan relies heavily on iCloud for its apps and services, so log into iCloud and enable syncing before updating to make sure you're ready to hit the ground running after the download.