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Legacy macOS and How to Upgrade

If your computer is running macOS 10.12 Sierra or older, it will need to upgraded or replaced immediately to comply with University Information Security Policy. Apple only officially supports the most recent version of macOS – which is currently 10.15 Catalina.

If you’re running an older version of macOS, it is no longer receiving security or stability updates. Running out-of-date, unpatched software, including operating systems, puts your data and the university at increased risk, and the university may restrict network access for devices running unsupported operating systems.

All UVM-owned computers running macOS 10.12 Sierra or older must be upgraded or replaced as soon as possible. macOS upgrades are available at no cost and can usually be downloaded directly from the App Store.

Please use the guides below to determine if your computer needs to be upgraded to a more recent macOS version, and where you can go for assistance.

Which macOS version is installed?

  1. From the Apple menu  in the top left corner of your screen, choose About This Mac.
  2. You’ll see the macOS name and version number, such as macOS Catalina 10.15.5; as well as your computer model and year.
  3. If your computer is running macOS Sierra 10.12.x or older it will need to be upgraded – make a note of your installed macOS version and your computer’s model and year as that information will be helpful when upgrading macOS.

How to upgrade macOS

The process of upgrading your computer varies depending on which version of macOS is currently installed on your computer.

Backup your data!

While data loss is relatively rare when upgrading macOS, it is best practice to backup your data via Time Machine or OneDrive before continuing.

Software Compatibility

macOS 10.15 Catalina does not support 32-bit applications. If you are upgrading from an older version of macOS, you may need to also upgrade some of the applications installed on your computer.

Upgrade from macOS 10.11 or newer

If you are running macOS 10.11.X or newer, you should be able to upgrade to macOS 10.15 Catalina. If your computer does not meet the minimum requirements for Catalina, please try upgrading to macOS 10.13 High Sierra instead.

Upgrade from macOS 10.10 or lower

If you are running macOS 10.10.X or lower, you will need to upgrade your computer to 10.11 El Capitan first. Once your computer has successfully upgraded to macOS 10.11 you can use the steps above to upgrade to a supported version of macOS.

Where can I get help with upgrading macOS?

Contact your IT support unit for assistance with upgrading your machine to a supported version of macOS.

If you do not know who your IT Support Provider is, please use the IT Lookup Tool to locate the appropriate support resource for your department.

Known Issues with Unsupported macOS

Known issues related to running unsupported macOS versions on your computer:

Connection Is Not Private - uvm.edu sites

The macOS operating system has root certificates built into it that allow your browser and other applications to validate the various websites and servers your computer connects to. This establishes a chain of trust that helps to prevent malicious actors from posing as legitimate websites.

Unsupported versions of macOS receive the “Your connection is not private” error because the root certificate that was used to vouch for UVM sites expired on May 30, 2020. The new root certificate used to validate connections to most uvm.edu sites is not inlcuded in macOS versions 10.11 or lower, which is why those systems can’t establish a chain of trust.

The “fix” for this problem is to upgrade your macOS version to 10.13 or higher using the steps above.

Updated on June 8, 2020

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