Like Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) and Lion (OS X 10.7) before it, OS X 10.9 Mavericks is as easy to install as downloading an installer from the Mac App Store and double-clicking. But there are still some things you should do before downloading Mavericks to ensure that your Mac is ready and that the upgrade process goes smoothly.
Apple says you need either Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6), Lion (OS X 10.7), or Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) installed before you can install Mavericks (OS X 10.9). But there are situations in which you may have a valid license for one of these prerequisite versions, but your Mac still has Leopard (OS X 10.5) installed. Here's how to save some time, and reduce the hassle, by upgrading directly from Leopard to Mavericks.
Though you can install Mavericks (OS X 10.9) directly from your Mac's hard drive, a bootable installer drive can be more convenient for installing the OS onto multiple Macs. And if your Mac is experiencing problems, a bootable installer makes a handy emergency drive. We walk you through the process of creating such a drive, step-by-step.
Some Mac users choose to perform a "clean install" of each major new version of OS X, erasing their drive and starting over. Here’s a look at whether or not that's possible when installing Mavericks and, more important, whether it’s advisable.
The latest version of OS X, 10.9 Mavericks, is here. But before you rush to install Mavericks, you'll want to check out our in-depth guide to preparing your Mac for the new OS, downloading and installing it, creating a bootable backup of the installer, and more.
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