Should I Upgrade to macOS Monterey?

Why wait to update your operating system?

Whenever a new operating system comes out, the developer pushes users to upgrade immediately, and Apple is no exception. But should you upgrade immediately, or should you wait? This article answers those questions and provides the information you need to decide if you should upgrade now or wait.

Should I Update My Mac to Monterey?

Whether you choose to update your Mac to Monterey or not can depend on many factors. For example, reasons to update immediately include:

  • You have a current computer system: If you have a current version of the macOS and you're using a new Mac with the M1 chip, then you are probably safe to go ahead and upgrade. In most cases, the latest systems (usually purchased within a few months before the update) are the safest and tend to experience the fewest number of issues.
  • You want or need access to the newest features: macOS Monterey brought many new features with it, including Shortcuts for macOS, which brings the Shortcuts app you use on your iPhone to the Mac; Focus Mode, which allows you to set time where you filter or block all your notifications; and Low Power Mode, which can reduce your energy consumption and increase your battery life.

The key here is to ensure your current system is compatible with macOS Monterey. You have some tolerance for risk because there is always the possibility a glitch or error in the software will cause a problem with your computer.

For example, macOS Monterey initially caused significant problems with older Mac computer users. Once users installed the update, the computer would get stuck in a reboot loop, and the user couldn't access anything. Specifically, Apple found this affected Macs without the Apple M1 chip.

An update was released that fixed the problem, but in the meantime, more than a few people found themself with bricked Mac computers.

Is macOS Monterey Really Ready?

Given the issue mentioned above, some readers may question if macOS Monterey is ready yet. The answer to that question is, maybe. Ultimately, you're probably safe if you're running an M1 Mac. However, anyone running an 'Intel Mac' (those Mac computers that have Intel chips instead of Apple-designed M1 chips) may want to pause a beat to ensure all the features are working correctly on their machine.

Another reason to wait to upgrade, whether your machine has an Intel or Apple M1 chip, is that not all of the operating system features are ready immediately. So, you may rush to upgrade only to find that Apple won't release one of the features you wanted for some time. For example, in macOS Monterey, one of the most anticipated features, Universal Control, wasn't immediately available to users. Given these delays, waiting a few months after the release of a new operating system won't likely hurt anything.

Is it Bad to Update Your Mac's OS?

It is not harmful to update your Mac's operating system. However, it's also not always advisable to upgrade immediately after an operating system update or upgrade. Instead, if you can manage with the operating system you currently have, it's always advisable to wait a little while (a few weeks at minimum) after an operating system drops just so all the kinks can get worked out before you install it.

Will Monterey Slow Down My Mac?

Upgrading your operating system always comes with the possibility that it could slow your computer down. That's because while it may seem the update is complete to you, there may still be processes happening in the background before your system will speed back up again.

There's also the possibility your system lacks the resources to run the new operating system. You should always check the system requirements before upgrading your system to ensure you won't end up with a mess once the upgrade is complete.

What Is the Difference Between macOS Big Sur and Monterey?

macOS Monterey brought some exciting new features, including those mentioned above. It also has:

  • SharePlay and FaceTime improvements
  • New Shared with You capabilities for messaging
  • Improvements to Safari
  • Notification appearance and settings updates
  • More capabilities in Notes
  • A new Quick Notes feature
  • Live Text
  • More accessibility options

Apple has added many more features to Monterey, many of them designed to take advantage of the Apple M1 chip in the newest models of Macs, iPads, and iPhones.

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