Installing Software on a Mac: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Catalina
Mac users have one of the best adoption rates of any operating system in the PC world. Catalina, the latest version of macOS, has nearly 50% market share of all versions of macOS.
If you haven't upgraded to Catalina yet, you can rest assured that it is a well-tested and solid version. And unlike some other operating systems, it's easy to upgrade.
Let's look at the steps for installing software on a Mac, particularly macOS Catalina.
Check Your Current Version
To see what version of macOS you're running, you can use the System Information tool. Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen and then click on About This Mac.
The System Information tool will open and the first thing you'll see is the version of macOS on your Mac. The version name is listed as well as the version number.
Apple changed the operating system's name from OS X to macOS a few years ago so if you see OS X on the information page, don't worry - it's the same thing.
Where to Find Mac Updates
The days of buying software off the shelf in your local computer shop are long gone. In fact, you don't have to buy new versions of macOS at all. Apple offers these upgrades for free through the Mac App Store.
To access the App Store, click on the Apple menu in the top-left of the screen and then click on App Store. Catalina is available as a free download from there.
If you don't see Catalina on the main page, the easiest way to find it is with the search function. Click on the search box, enter Catalina and hit return. The first result you see should be macOS Catalina.
Click on the title to open the details page, where you can see screenshots, get detailed information about this version, and read reviews. To install Catalina, click the Get button at the top of the page.
The new OS will download to your Mac and the installation will start at that point. Follow the on-screen instructions to upgrade your Mac.
What to Do If Your Mac Won't Update
If you have any problems installing Catalina, the first thing to check is whether your Mac is supported. Most models introduced in 2012 or later will support Catalina along with a few older models.
If you're not sure about your Mac, Apple has a support page that lists all the supported Macs.
If your Mac is on the supported devices list but Catalina still won't install from the App Store, you can try downloading it directly instead of installing from the store.
The download file, known as a Mac combo update, is available from Apple's support website. Whenever Apple releases a new version, a new page gets added. Catalina 10.15.4 is currently the latest update, but you can find the newest version by searching Google or another search engine for "Catalina combo update". The latest version will be one of the top results.
All You Need to Know About Installing Software on a Mac
That's really all you need to know about installing software on a Mac, at least Catalina and other macOS updates. The days of needing a degree in computer science to even attempt it are long gone. Even the newest Mac users can upgrade quickly and easily in today's world.
If you're running an older Mac that doesn't support Catalina and want to upgrade to a newer model, you can save money and the environment by buying a refurbished Mac. Recompute offers a range of refurbished models to choose from, so check out our current selection today.