Apple OS X El Capitan beta was first released to developers in July 2015 and was released to the millions of Apple consumers worldwide September of 2015, following several beta releases. This version of the Apple Mac OS X marks a significant milestone in Apple Mac OS history for many reasons. It was the 12th major release of the Mac OS X line, since the introduction of the new brand in 2002 by Apple from its previous product line of Mac OS. Download El Capitan OS X is also significant since it’s the last version of Apple Mac OS X releases as its successor Sierra was released in The year 2016 under the brand macOS. El Capitan is a rock formation found in Yosemite National Park, which gives out the meaning that the new release is a solid version of its predecessor, Yosemite. The naming convention to use important landmarks of Northern California started with the Apple release of Mavericks.
At the time of release, El Capitan was promoted as a significant release by Apple similar to how they promoted Mavericks and Yosemite upgrades which were the predecessors of El Capitan.
Brief guide for download El Capitan
In this article, we’ll also discuss few things that you should do before you upgrade your OS to the new Download El Capitan version in order to make sure your computer is all ready for the new upgrade including whether your Mac is compatible both in terms of hardware and software. There we will discuss the minimum system requirements and supported Mac devices released in the past.
Installation methods for download El Capitan
- Download El Capitan Mac OS X from scratch while upgrading the current Mac OS version
The new Apple El Capitan supports two installations methods. As in the case of many other operating system installations, Apple El Capitan also provides an option to upgrade from your current OS version or the option to install the new download El Capitan Mac OS X from scratch. The default method which is the upgrade installation option will try to install OS X El Capitan to your Mac device while protecting your user data and app data. This is currently the most frequently used method of upgrading to the new version of Mac OS X and also the easiest too. If your Mac computer is in very good shape and running smoothly, it is recommended to install using this method.
- Download El Capitan and install fresh the Mac OS without upgrading current Mac OS version
The second method of installations is the clean install method. It basically erases the entire content of your chosen drive and installs a fresh, smooth version of the new operating system which is download El Capitan Mac OS X in this case. This would mean no older versions of the Mac OS X, system applications and user data all will be wiped out with a clean install. This is an excellent choice to test an operating system on a separate disk drive or a partition in cases where you have had prevailing software issues on your computer which you have been unable to fix. Therefore when these issues become a major headache for you, your best option is to perform a clean install of the OS X – El Capitan. Although you may have to let go of your apps and their data, it becomes a smaller price to pay for when compared to running the system in its current state with a truckload of software issues.
The upgrade install option is pretty straightforward. Therefore in this article, we will only discuss the clean installation of El Capitan Mac OS X.
Is your device compatible with download El Capitan?
The new Mac OS X is compatible with any Mac PC that was previously running Mac OS X versions 10.8 – Mountain Lion, 10.9 – Mavericks, 10.10 – Yosemite. The reason why Mac computers only with Mavericks upgrade or latest will work with download El Capitan is thanks to Apple not removing any Mac hardware from its Mac OS X support list since Mavericks was introduced. The minimum memory requirement to install El Capitan is 2GB and 8 GB of free internal storage.
The following Mac devices are considered to be fully compatible to run Mac OS X El Capitan, given that all the below-mentioned devices have a minimum of 2GB RAM.
- iMac (The year 2006 and above)
- Mac Book (The year 2008) and Mac Book Black/White (The year 2009 upwards)
- All Mac Book Retina Models
- 15 inch Mac Book Pro (The year 2007 or later)
- 17 inch Mac Book Pro (The year 2007 or later)
- Mac Mini (The year 2007 or later)
- 2008 Mac Book Air or later
- Mac Pro (The year 2008 or later)
- 13 inch Mac Book Pro (The year 2009 or later)
- Xserve (The year 2009)
In addition to those mentioned above, the iMac model released in Mid of 2007 & in early 2008 as well the Mac Mini model released in early 2009 with 2 GB RAM will be compatible to run download El Capitan OS X. These models were originally manufactured with 1 GB RAM inside the device, hence the hardware upgrade is required.
Although the above set of Mac devices are compatible with the download El Capitan Upgrade, several features such as Handoff, Air Drop will be limited only to newer models.
Likewise, although the recommended hardware requirement is 2 GB RAM and 8 GB of free hard disk space for running El Capitan, speaking from experience it would run a lot smoothly on 4GB memory and if you have 20GB free internal storage space. Having more memory than 4GB will certainly improve the user experience as the computer will operate faster and smoothly. These finer details mainly depend highly on your current Mac OS X version and your current hardware.
Few Things to do before you download El Capitan and install OS X
The next thing you need to do is something very important. You must create a backup of your Mac and then test this backup. You are recommended to use cloning software applications such as Mac Backup Guru, Super Duper, Carbon Copy Cloner to clone a backup that is bootable. You can even use a Time Machine backup also to serve this purpose, but that’s a choice that you will have to make on your own. Your own experience in using Mac devices will help you realize that.
For a first timer, the benefit of using a clone backup is you get to easily boot your device with an exact copy of your existing drive in case something goes wrong. The difference in a time machine backup is that it keeps your most recent as well as older versions of documents. After backing up your drive you should also test the backup you have taken to ensure you’re safe in case something goes wrong. To test a bootable clone backup you can access System Preferences Startup Disk Pane to boot your device from the backup created and verify that the backup is successful. In order to test a time machine backup, you can restore files in different versions to ensure your document’s data is recoverable if something bad happens while the upgrade is processing. Depending on your need you can either use one or both methods to back up your Mac before you upgrade your OS to a newer version, which is, of course, download El Capitan OS X in this case.
Once the backup has been created and tested fully, we can move forward with the clean installation for El Capitan OS X.
There are 2 types of clean install methods that you can follow.
First method: download El Capitan and Clean Install on Empty Volume
This is the easier of the two methods. You will be simply required to install the new OS X into an empty volume or a volume that contains data that you are okay with erasing. In this method, the main thing to note is you are not installing download El Capitan OS X on your current startup volume, which is what the next method is all about. You can easily install the new OS onto an empty volume while being booted up from the existing startup drive.
Second method: download El Capitan and Clean Install on Startup Volume
This option, however, is the most frequent installation option of these two. Most users will install the OS X on top of the current startup volume in order to get a clean, pristine OS. Since you’re replacing the existing startup drive, unable to boot from the existing startup drive, this method requires you to create a bootable USB stick which has download El Capitan Installer software in it. By plugging it into your Mac computer you can simply go through the steps to install the new OS fresh onto your existing startup volume without selecting a restore option.