Many business users look forward to leveraging new OS X Yosemite (v10.10) features — freshly redesigned views, improved Spotlight search capabilities, faster web browser performance, enhanced privacy controls, innovative annotation features, iCloud Drive file synchronization integration, Messages and SMS Mac integration, Handoff capabilities that permit using the Mac to complete tasks begun on another device, and even the ability to answer telephone calls on a Mac are among new capabilities. However, yet not every Mac is ready for the upgrade. While the OS is still in beta, Apple states the release is due in the fall, which technically has begun.
Numerous beta testers report any Mac that runs Mavericks (OS X v10.9) well should be capable of running Yosemite. With that in mind, businesses will be best served running the new OS on Macs with at least 4 GB of RAM and sufficient free disk space. A minimum of 8 GB of free space is needed to install the OS, with 25 GB to 50 GB a better rule of thumb for accommodating applications and user data, in my opinion.
Businesses should perform each of these steps on existing Macs to ensure the systems are ready for Yosemite:
- Click the Mac's upper left-hand corner Apple icon, select About This Mac, and confirm sufficient RAM is installed.
- Using the About This Mac window, click the More Info button, and confirm the Mac's model year.
- Using the About This Mac window, click the Storage tab, and confirm the amount of free disk space.
- Perform a rudimentary system load review by opening Activity Monitor (reached from Applications | Utilities) and confirming the Mac's current CPU and Memory loads are within tolerable ranges (less than 15% CPU use and less than 50% of memory capacity when seemingly idle).
- Open Disk Utility (from Applications | Utilities) and verify disk permissions using the provided button, performing the corresponding repair action for any found issues. Consider a fresh installation of Yosemite if the current underlying OS is corrupt.
- Open Disk Utility and verify the disk, again performing a corresponding repair for any issue. Consider replacing any system older than three years whose disk is experiencing errors or failures.
- Download and run a disk cleanup program — CCleaner for Mac and CleanMyMac 2 are two options — to remove unnecessary files to free up any needed disk space.
- Review and uninstall any programs that you no longer need.
- Review Login Items (accessed from System Preferences | Users & Groups), disabling any applications that do not need to automatically load at startup, thereby reserving resources for other programs.
Organizations should consider developing hardware replacement plans now for Macs older than those released in 2009. While it's possible that 2009, 2008, and some 2007-era systems will run Yosemite, industry experience suggests the costs of trying to maintain older systems exceeds the costs for deploying new machines. Faster processors, speedier disks, and more RAM almost always help any business user more efficiently complete Mac-based tasks.
How is your organization preparing for Yosemite? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.
Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.