Recipe for a smooth upgrade of macOS (Big Sur)

A recipe for a smooth upgrade to macOS Big Sur by our colleagues at New College, Oxford.

  1. Close all applications.
  2. Restart the computer.
  3. Make sure all apps are still closed.
  4. Open Disk Utility and run checks on your system disk.
  5. Check for Software updates.
    1. If updates need to be installed, install them, and then restart again.
  6. Make sure you have a very recent Time Machine backup.
  7. Start the upgrade of macOS from the System Preferences > Software update
  8. Let the install run to completion.
    1. Took about 30 minutes on a Mac Pro – laptops may well take longer.
  9. Let it start up and log in.
  10. See which extensions it doesn’t like – make a list of names.
    1. Look through /Library/System/Extensions/ and see if you can identify them.
    2. Delete them.
    3. Look at the ‘Date Modified’ of the extensions and consider chucking them out if any are more than three years old.
  11. Restart again.
  12. Let Time Machine backup proceed.
  13. Resume normal use.

Sophos is now compatible with Big Sur (correct as at 9 April 2021).