Upgrade macOS to Big Sur
In this article
Before you start
- Backup your important files using Google Drive, Box, Time Machine or other methods.
- MacOS Big Sur requires 35.5GB of available storage to upgrade. If you need more space, read How to free up storage space on your Mac.
- Review macOS Big Sur - Technical Specifications for details about system requirements for upgrading to macOS Big Sur.
- If you do not have permanent administrator permissions on your device, you will need to use the Privileges app or contact your local IT support staff for admin rights.
- Review the application compatibility table before upgrading.
||Compatible with Big Sur
||Adobe Acrobat DC, Acrobat 2020 and Acrobat 2017 are compatible with Big Sur.
|Adobe Creative Cloud
||Adobe Creative Cloud is compatible with Big Sur. Refer to Adobe's compatible version information for more information.
|GlobalProtect VPN Client
||Version 4.9 is required for compatibility with macOS Big Sur. (https://terpware.umd.edu/Mac/title/4010)
||FireEye version 33.22.6 is required for use with macOS Big Sur (https://terpware.umd.edu/Mac/Package/4288)
||Firefox is compatible with macOS Big Sur (http://mozilla.org)
||The most recent version of Chrome is compatible with macOS Big Sur.
|Microsoft Office 365
||The latest version available from Office.com is compatible with macOS Big Sur.
|Microsoft Office 2019
||Office 2019 is compatible with macOS Big Sur.
|Microsoft Office 2016
||Office 2016 is not compatible with macOS Big Sur.
|Webex (previously known as Webex teams)
||Webex is compatible with macOS Big Sur (https://www.webex.com/downloads.html)
||Zoom is compatible with macOS Big Sur (https://umd.zoom.us/download)
Upgrade your UMD-issued Apple Mac to Big Sur
These instructions apply to computers issued by the University of Maryland. Contact the IT Service Center if you have questions or need assistance.
- Open System Preferences by clickingin the Dock.
- Click the Software Update icon.
- Click Upgrade Now in the Software Update window.
- Wait while Downloading macOS Big Sur. The macOS Big Sur upgrade installer file is approximately 12 GB and will take time to download depending on the speed of your network connection. You can continue to use other programs while the macOS Big Sur installer is downloaded. When the download is complete the installer will automatically launch.
- When the macOS Big Sur installer has finished downloading, the Install macOS Big Sur window will open.
- If you do not have permanent administrator permissions on your device, you need to pause here and launch Privileges or contact your local IT support staff for admin rights.
- Click Agree on the Install macOS Big Sur window to continue the upgrade process. Then, click Agree on the license agreement window.
- Click Continue.
- The disk might have different names such as Macintosh HD.
- Enter your university Directory ID and password into the User Name and Password fields. Then, click OK. This process can take an hour or more. Wait until the computer has restarted and you are presented with a login window.
- Log in to your Mac and click the Apple Menu in the top left corner of the menu bar. Then, select About This Mac.
- If you see macOS Big Sur on the About This Mac window, your Mac has successfully completed the upgrade.
- After logging into your macOS Big Sur computer for the first time, you may be presented with a GlobalProtect Secure Mobility Client Notification message. If you see this notification, click the blue Open Preferences button.
NOTE: Failure to complete this step through the end will result in GlobalProtect being unable to connect. If you do not have permanent administrator permissions on your device, you need to pause here and launch the Privileges app or contact your local IT support staff for admin rights.
- When the Security & Privacy window opens, click to make changes.
- After clicking the padlock icon, a System Preferences is trying to unlock Security & Privacy preferences dialog box will appear. Enter your University Directory ID and password into the User Name and Password fields.
- After unlocking the Security & Privacy, an open padlock icon will appear. Click Allow to continue.
- GlobalProtect Socket Filter Would Like to Filter Network Content window will appear. Click Allow.
- The upgrade process is now complete.