OS X Desktop Upgrades

OS X Desktop Upgrades

If you wish to upgrade your Apple desktop system to the latest version of OS X then you can do so yourself via the Self Service application in the /Applications folder. Once the upgrade is installed the system will reboot and complete the installation.

If you have a self maintained Apple desktop and you are upgrading to OS X 10.11 El Capitan or above please make sure that you understand the System Integrity Protection security technology as this may affect any software that you have installed yourself. For more information about System Integrity Protection please see the following website:


Please consider the following before upgrading the system:

  • We estimate that the time to upgrade the system will be between one and two hours to complete
  • After the installation several bits of software need to be updated/upgraded, this will happen automatically after the system has been reloaded. Therefore we recommend that you upgrade the system overnight.
  • You may need to recompile any extra libraries or software that you have installed yourself onto the system. If you have installed MyMacPorts then you will need to recompile your macports tree.
  • If you have installed any applications yourself then these may also need to be updated.
  • We recommend only updating from the previous version of OS X as the install times tend to be shorter and there is less difference between the operating systems. If you are upgrading via Self Service then you will only be able to upgrade from the previous version of OS X.

Detailed instructions for upgrading your Desktop System

  1. Save all open documents and close all applications as the system will be restarted shortly.
  2. Open Self Service from the Applications folder in Finder.
  3. In the Featured section of the Self Service homepage there should be a "Upgrade to macOS Sierra for Desktops" icon.
  4. Click the "Upgrade" button next to the icon and read the information before clicking on the "Upgrade" button again to start the upgrade.
  5. Click OK to restart your computer.
  6. Your computer will then restart and complete the installation. This can take between one and two hours to complete.
  7. Once the installation is complete it should go back to the login screen and you can log back in.
  8. Please be aware that if you login straight away after the upgrade the system is still reconfiguring itself so you may see some performance issues during this period.

If you have any problems upgrading your system or If the OS X upgrade is not available to your desktop system via Self Service please contact ITSupport@physics.ox.ac.uk

Categories: Apple | Desktops | El Capitan | Mac | OS X | Upgrades | Yosemite