Upgrading to macOS Catalina
Last updated: July 23, 2020
Apple released its newest operating system, macOS Catalina (10.15), last fall. Anyone using an iMac or MacBook device can upgrade to macOS Catalina for free through the Mac App Store.
Starting Aug. 3, 2020, CTS will support macOS Catalina on University-managed Mac devices.
On this page
- Important information about macOS Catalina
- Compatible Mac devices
- Install macOS Catalina
- Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Important information about macOS Catalina
Apple has removed support for 32-bit applications in macOS Catalina. This means that any applications you use that have not been updated from 32-bit to 64-bit will no longer work on macOS Catalina.
MacOS Catalina features new applications for music, TV and podcasts. It also introduces cross-functionality with iPad devices through Sidecar. Go to apple.com/macos/catalina for a complete list of new features in macOS Catalina.
Compatible Mac devices
The following Mac devices and models are compatible with macOS Catalina:
- MacBook introduced in 2015 or later
- MacBook Air introduced in 2012 or later
- MacBook Pro introduced in 2012 or later
- Mac mini introduced in 2012 or later
- iMac introduced in 2012 or later
- iMac Pro (all models)
- Mac Pro introduced in 2013 or later
For a full list of specific Mac models, go to Apple's macOS Catalina compatibility page.
Install macOS Catalina
University-managed Mac devices
To receive the option to install macOS Catalina, employees must complete the macOS Catalina authorization process. This process identifies 32-bit applications installed on your Mac device that will be affected by the upgrade.
After completing the macOS Catalina authorization process, you will have the option to install macOS Catalina at your convenience through the Mac App Store.
Note: macOS Catalina will not be automatically installed on your Mac, and you are not required to install it after authorization is complete.
Personally-owned Mac devices
Before installing macOS Catalina on a personally-owned Mac device, follow the steps below to identify 32-bit applications installed on your device:
- Click the Apple icon in the top left corner of the screen.
- Select About This Mac.
- Click the System Report button located at the bottom of the window.
- Click Applications under the Software section on the left side of the window.
- Once the list of applications populates, scroll to the right to locate the 64-Bit column. Any apps that are 32-bit will have No listed in this column.
You should also back up important files and data to an external drive before installing macOS Catalina. Doing so ensures your data is preserved in case the upgrade does not complete successfully.
What should I do if 32-bit applications are installed on my Mac?
If you use 32-bit applications, CTS recommends contacting the application provider to see if they offer a 64-bit version of the application before upgrading to macOS Catalina.
Do I need to install macOS Catalina as soon as I finish the authorization process?
No. Completing the macOS Catalina authorization process gives you the ability to install macOS Catalina at your convenience. If you want to install it at a later date, open the Mac App Store and search for macOS Catalina.
If I wait to install macOS Catalina, do I need to complete the authorization process again?
No. You only need to complete the macOS Catalina process once on your University-managed Mac.
I have multiple University-managed Mac devices. Do I need to complete the macOS Catalina authorization process on each one?
Yes. Each University-managed Mac is required to complete the macOS Catalina authorization process before macOS Catalina is made available in the Mac App Store.