OS X 'El Capitan' finally ready for prime time - and here's how to have a trouble-free upgrade

It's taken ten weeks and two major updates, but finally OS X 10.11 "El Capitan" is ready for prime time.

survey

Macs to replace PCs in enterprise at "unprecedented rate"

Is Apple on the upswing in the enterprise? Some IT professionals think so based on a recent survey, saying Macs are safer and boost productivity while also cutting down on support costs.

Read More

Don't think that public betas make software any better. They don't. The only way to shake out the bugs from something as big as an operating system is real world usage.

It's taken ten weeks and two major updates, but finally OS X 10.11 "El Capitan" is ready for prime time. I've now rolled it out to my work machines, and I'm pleased with the result.

I waited - and encouraged others who were thinking of upgrading to wait - because my experience with the beta was poor, and the release version also had problems. And I'm not talking about an issue confined to a single machine, I'm talking about multiple issues on several unrelated Macs.

And I wasn't alone.

Bugs - especially related to stability and connectivity - I can do without, especially on my workhorse systems, so I stuck with OS X 10.10 until the other day when Apple released the 10.11.2 update. I'd been keeping a close eye on the beta of this release and had found it to be promising. So when 10.11.2 was released, I took the plunge and upgraded all my work Macs.

And they're all running flawlessly. Upgrading from Mavericks to El Capitan has also seemed to cure some sluggishness I was feeling on a Mac Mini. All the systems feel snappy and responsive, and I've not seen a crash nor had the Wi-Fi connection drop on any of the systems.

Phew.

Here are some tips for successful upgrading:

  • Upgrade all your applications first so you don't run into issues
  • The upgrade does take some time, so make sure MacBooks are plugged into the charger and that you put aside a couple of hours to upgrade.
  • If you'd previously downloaded the OS X 10.11 installer then delete it and redownload so you get the latest 10.11.2 version. It's 6GB, so this will also add to the time it takes to do the installation. To do this find the installer in the Launchpad screen, click and hold on the icons until they wiggle, then click the "x" on the installer. Then redownload from the Mac App Store.
  • The system will reboot multiple times during the upgrade, so don't panic.

For those of you still wondering whether to make the leap to iOS 9, the 9.2 update seems to be pretty solid, and builds on the 9.1 update that brought much-needed stability to iOS. I'd say that's also good to go now.

And if you use Windows on your Mac, either via Boot Camp or a third-party tool such as Parallels Desktop, now might be a good time to grab that free upgrade to Windows 10.

See also: