We still recommend holding off on the High Sierra upgrade for most users. If you do proceed, ensure you have a current full backup of your entire system.

Important things to consider before upgrading to High Sierra

macOS High Sierra is full of improvements and substantial changes under the hood — good things — but even so, it may be worth waiting until Apple releases a slate of bug fixes after the initial release, usually a week or so later. We recommend at least holding off until you've done a full backup and considered old programs you may rely on.

You can disable these update notifications, though we recommend being vigilant about macOS Security Updates (check under  Menu > App Store…)

1. Are you fully backed up?

Make sure you have a complete and current backup using Time Machine or your preferred backup service. Many things can go wrong, especially when major software is released. Even minor updates like iPhoto/Photos in years past have resulted in major losses of personal information.

2. Do you rely on non-Apple, or older Apple programs?

Microsoft Office 2011 has been reported not to work with the new macOS. If your icons look like these, you'll need buy a Microsoft upgrade to keep working if you upgrade to High Sierra:

Even then, there are reports even the latest Office for Mac doesn't work well. Another reason to delay upgrading until the big kinks are worked out.

Many other programs, such as those creative professionals rely upon are not ready for High Sierra. Check out the reports on various programs here.

3. Is your computer old, or in need of a tune-up?

2009-2010 era Macs are the oldest hardware High Sierra can run on. Don't worry, you won't be allowed to install it if your hardware is incompatible.

However, older systems can have sharply reduced performance, often in situations of limited memory (RAM) or storage (disk space). This is Apple's corporate nudging for you to shell out a new computer. Schedule a tune-up or a storage consultation if you want to extend the life of your Mac, or need buying advice.

You may want to skip this upgrade if a major purchase is not in the cards. Expect slow speeds after upgrading, especially if you have an older hard drive. How to tell? If your laptop or iMac is roughly an inch thick, it's likely a hard drive. Thinner Macs have a solid state drive (SSD): MacBook Airs, the new-ish 12" Macbook, and MacBook Pro Retinas), less than 20 GB of free space, or less than 8 GB of RAM.

4. Do you share files with older Macs?

Many owners of newer Macs that will have no problem using High Sierra also have older Macs in their household, running older software that won't be able to work with updated formats. The list includes Apple, Adobe, and aforementioned Microsoft. You might just want to hold off if you share Photos libraries, Microsoft Office documents, or older versions of Adobe Creative Suite.

The Bottom Line

Unless you have a critical need for High Sierra, you may be better holding off until the initial bugs are fixed and/or your older system is assessed.

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