There are primarily two main ways to install a new OS system on your MacBook. You can either upgrade it the normal way through your main menu on your startup drive or you can basically clean install the Big Sur software. The second choice is a bit more tedious but it does come with it’s advantages over the first conventional method so we decided to quickly brief you on how to clean install the new Apple software update without any problems and the reasons why it’s actually the better choice for your device.[ 10ft usb c cable]
Which Macs Are Compatible With Big Sur?
Before upgrading your system to macOS 11, it’s important that you confirm if your device is actually compatible. This new release means Apple moved a year or two forwards in terms of support, so it’s possible that your Mac may not be compatible anymore, sadly. The compatible devices include any MacBook Pro or Air from 2013, Mac Mini from 2014 and iMac from 2014. If you don’t remember what model your device is, you can find out by heading to the ‘About This Mac’ section at the top of your menu bar.
Why Is A Clean Install Is Recommended
Whenever Apple releases a new system update, it’s always exciting to see what new features you can add to make your Mac experience a little easier and more fun. It is for this reason that most users end up simply updating their Mac’s normal way through a regular update in their system preferences. That’s not to deny that it is the faster option and it allows you to keep all of your current apps, files, and settings intact. However, this does have its disadvantages.
For one, performing a clean install generally gives your Mac enough space to function efficiently. This means you’ll only be keeping necessary files and be less likely to experience software problems. It’s no different to emptying out your garage for new stuff instead of just adding more junk to an already cluttered space. Other benefits include:
- Getting rid of useless data and files
- Improves speed and performance
- Clear out any remnants of old software you don’t use
- Solve any annoying problems your Mac may be plagued with; eg. freezing etc.
How To Clean Install Big Sur
- Clear Out Any Junk Files
A clean installation literally means removing everything from your Mac. However, before you do that it’s important that you back up everything. This will allow you to restore any of your original files onto your new OS without any of the necessary clutter. Now, it may sound like an extremely daunting and unnecessary process but best believe, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. You can simply make use of an app like CleanMyMac X which removes any unnecessary files eg. old caches in just one simple click.
- Backup All The Important Files On Your Mac
The majority of Apple users, utilize the Time Machine feature to back up their files but it isn’t exactly the best choice with some users complaining that it carries over some of the problems they had with the previous OS onto the new one. Plus it doesn’t allow for a bootable backup, which means undertaking a long restoring process.
As such, it’s best to use a third-party app like getting Backup Pro which basically allows you to create backups making it easy for you to transfer data using a type-c hub for example, to a replacement device or hard drive, in the event something goes wrong. It also comes with useful features such as file compression as well as backup scheduling.
- Download the Big Sur Installer
You can easily and for free, download the Big Sur installer from the Mac App Store. However, keep in mind that the intention is not to install the software in the normal way. The intention is to download the installer and launch it later on, so if the installer launches automatically, make sure to cancel it and click, “Quit Install”.[ usb c hub long cable]
- Create A Bootable Installer
You can do this by getting a flash drive or using the best USB c hub, connecting an external hard drive that comes with at least 16GB of available storage. Once you’ve connected it to your Mac, the first thing to do is erase all the files from your drive:
- Access Disk Utility on your Mac
- Select your internal hard drive and click Erase
- Set the format to Mac OS Extended
After this, you can open your Mac Terminal and input the following command:
sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Big\ Sur.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia –volume /Volumes/ MyFlashDrive
Keep in mind that “MyFlashDrive” is the name of your USB, so replace it with the name of your chosen USB drive.
After which press Enter and then once prompted for your password, input it and confirm that you want to erase your hard drive by pressing Y and that’s it! In only a matter of steps, you’ve now created a bootable Big Sur installer.
5: Erase Your Startup Disk
Now that you have everything backed up, you can now erase your old OS system by cleaning out your startup drive. These are the steps you need to follow:
- Shut down your Mac and hold down Command + R to enter the Recovery Mode
- Access Disk Utility and select your main startup drive
- Click Erase in the menu and confirm your action.
- Perform A Clean install
You can now officially perform a clean install onto your Mac by following these final steps:
- Restart your computer and hold the Option key
- Access Disk Utility
- Select install macOS from your USB drive
For those who are considering taking this option, keep in mind that while it may seem like a long arduous process, it’s actually the best choice for your device and it will definitely improve its performance going forward. However, if you still feel the need to go down the normal route, you can always install the new Big Sur update from your ‘System Preferences’ or on the ‘About This Mac’ section.