Apple OS X Yosemite was announced in June 2014 and was released in the month of October the same year. It was the 11th biggest release of Mac OS X line, after being rebranded in 2002 by Apple from its previous product line of Mac OS. The name of the software release – Yosemite, At the time of release, Yosemite was marketed as a major release by Apple similar to how they marketed the Mavericks and Mountain Lion OS X updates which were the predecessors of download Yosemite.
Before we talk about how to download Yosemite and install Mac OS X, let’s first take a look at what’s new on Yosemite in order for you to get a feel of what you will be experiencing once you’ve installed this version of the Mac OS X.
In this article, we’ll also discuss few things that you should do before you upgrade your OS to the new Yosemite version in order to make sure your computer is all ready for the new upgrade including whether your Mac is compatible both in terms of hardware and software. There we will discuss the minimum system requirements and supported Mac devices released in the past.
Download Yosemite installation methods
The new download Yosemite Mac OS X supports to two installations methods.
Method one for download Yosemite and install
As in the case of many other operating system installations, Apple Yosemite also provides an option to upgrade from your current OS version or the option to install the new Yosemite Mac OS X from scratch. The default method which is the upgrade installation option will try to install OS X Yosemite to your Mac device while protecting your user data and app data. This is currently the most frequently used method of upgrading to the new version of Mac OS X and also the easiest too. If your Mac computer is in very good shape and running smoothly, it is recommended to install using this method.
Method two for download Yosemite and install
The second method of installations is the clean install method. It basically erases the entire content of your chosen drive and installs a fresh, smooth version of the new operating system which is Mac OS X Yosemite in this case. This would mean older versions of the Mac OS X, system applications and user data all will be wiped out with a clean install. This is an excellent choice to test an operating system on a separate disk drive or a partition in cases where you have had prevailing software issues on your computer which you have been unable to fix. Therefore when these issues become a major headache for you, your best option is to perform a clean install of the OS X –download Yosemite. Although you may have to let go of your apps and their data, it becomes a smaller price to pay for when compared to running the system in its current state with a truckload of software issues.
The upgrade install option is pretty straightforward. Therefore in this article, we will only discuss the clean installation of Yosemite Mac OS X.
What’s new in Yosemite?
Apple has focused on significant improvements to the Mac OS user interface. The flat graphic technology and blurred translucency techniques have been applied to improve the new Mac UIs which was introduced in iOS 7. Among other notable design changes were the introduction of new icons, dark-light color schemes. The dock has an improved graphics design.
Addition to that Apple has mainly focused on continuity of several features. iCloud integration, the Handoff functionality has been continued with great efficiency. Notification center has got a ‘Today’ view as a new enhancement to create value for the user.
Is your device compatible with Yosemite?
The download Yosemite Mac OS X is compatible with any Mac PC that was previously running Mac OS X versions 10.6 – Snow Leopard, 10.7 – Lion, 10.8 – Mountain Lion, 10.9 – Mavericks. The minimum memory requirement to install Yosemite is 2GB and 8 GB of free internal storage.
The following Mac devices are considered to be fully compatible to run Mac OS X download Yosemite, given that all the below-mentioned devices have a minimum of 2GB RAM.
- iMac (The year 2006 and above)
- Mac Book (The year 2008) and Mac Book Black/White (The year 2009 upwards)
- All Mac Book Retina Models
- 15 inch Mac Book Pro (The year 2007 or later)
- 17 inch Mac Book Pro (The year 2007 or later)
- Mac Mini (The year 2007 or later)
- 2008 Mac Book Air or later
- Mac Pro (The year 2008 or later)
- 13 inch Mac Book Pro (The year 2009 or later)
- Xserve (The year 2009)
In addition to those mentioned above, this new OS can run on a 2006 mid released version of a Mac Pro that needs to upgrade to a supported graphics chip and utilize a custom bootloader for the upgrade.
Although the above set of Mac devices are compatible with the download Yosemite upgrade, several features such as Handoff, Air Drop will be limited only to newer models.
Likewise, although the recommended hardware requirement is 2 GB RAM and 8 GB of free hard disk space for running Yosemite, speaking from experience it would run a lot smoothly on 4GB memory and if you have 20GB free internal storage space. Having more memory than 4GB will certainly improve the user experience as the computer will operate faster and smoothly. These finer details mainly depend highly on your current Mac OS X version and your current hardware.
Few Things to do before you download Yosemite and install OS X
It is always a good option to free some space on your drive if possible before you install the new version of Mac OS X. Since you will also need space for temporary files for the applications you will be using in addition to the OS requirements, you are advised to perform a disk space check on your drive to see to delete unnecessary junk on your device. You can use utility software such as Grand Perspective or What Size in order to assist you to clean up your drive.
The next thing you need to do is something very important. You must create a backup of your Mac and then test this backup. You are recommended to use cloning software applications such as Mac Backup Guru, Super Duper, Carbon Copy Cloner to clone a backup that is bootable. You can even use a Time Machine backup also to serve this purpose, but that’s a choice that you will have to make on your own. Your own experience in using Mac devices will help you realize that.
For a first timer, the benefit of using a clone backup is you get to easily boot your device with an exact copy of your existing drive in case something goes wrong. The difference in a time machine backup is that it keeps your most recent as well as older versions of documents. After backing up your drive you should also test the backup you have taken to ensure you’re safe in case something goes wrong.
To test a bootable clone backup you can
Access System Preferences >> Startup Disk Pane to boot your device from the backup created >> verify that the backup is successful.
In order to test a time machine backup, you can restore files in different versions to ensure your document’s data is recoverable if something bad happens while the upgrade is processing. Depending on your need you can either use one or both methods to back up your Mac before you upgrade your OS to a newer version, which is, of course, is OS X in this case.
Once the backup has been created and tested fully, we can move forward with the clean installation for download Yosemite OS X. There are 2 types of clean install methods that you can follow.
When you’re ready to download Yosemite Mac OS X you can find the required version of Yosemite available in the Mac App Store in order to download Yosemite to be installed. Then enter your Apple ID and password to sign in and once the installer has finished downloading, it automatically opens for installation.
Download Yosemite from the Apple Mac Store
- Simple first step, fire up the Mac App Store by selecting the relevant icon in the dock and clicking on the App Store icon to launch App Store.
- Find Yosemite OS X, can be found by doing a bit of searching among the categories available.
- Once you have found the Yosemite Mac OS X app, click on the download button. You will be probably asked to sign in to Apple store if you haven’t already done so.
- The download Yosemite installer file is over 5 GB, therefore as suggested above it’s better to do some cleaning in order to clear the unnecessary items on your Mac device.
- Once the download is complete, the OS X Yosemite Install app will launch on its own. Do not proceed with the installation; instead, quit the installer by selecting Quit Install OS X from the Install OS X menu.
- Create a bootable copy of the Yosemite OS X installer you have downloaded to a USB driver.
- Use one of the below methods to carry out the installation safely.
First method: Clean Install on Empty Volume
This is the easier of the two methods. You will be simply required to install the new OS X into an empty volume or a volume that contains data that you are okay with erasing. In this method, the main thing to note is you are not installing download Yosemite OS X on your current startup volume, which is what the next method is all about. You can easily install the new OS onto an empty volume while being booted up from the existing startup drive.
Second method: Clean Install on Startup Volume
This option, however, is the most frequent installation option of these two. Most users will install the OS X on top of the current startup volume in order to get a clean, pristine OS. Since you’re replacing the existing startup drive, unable to boot from the existing startup drive, this method requires you to create a bootable USB stick which has download Yosemite Installer software in it. By plugging it into your Mac computer you can simply go through the steps to install the new OS fresh onto your existing startup volume without selecting a restore option.