How To Get Your System Ready for Mountain Lion

The final beta is out for Mountain Lion, and that means the full public version is coming pretty soon. It is time again for Apple users to start preparing their system for the new release. With the various features that are in Mountain Lion, there are a couple of things you need to know before you upgrade your system. Today, we will go over which systems are in, storage considerations, some recommended things to get off your checklist, and much more!

First thing first, Mountain Lion is not supported for all Mac systems. Here are the supported models:

  • iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)

In addition, some features are only available for specifi models. For example, AirPlay Mirroring is available only for iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro released near mid to early 2011. Check out the list here for the complete detail.

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Here are some consideration before you download the Mountain Lion:

  • Do you have enough storage space?

It is pretty obvious that you need to have enough storage space to download Mountain Lion. I highly recommend setting aside 3 – 4 GB of hard drive space for this download. If you don’t have enough, upgrade, either change the whole internal hard drive, or get an external drive.

  • Are you upgradeable?

You’d be surprised at how many individuals are unwilling to upgrade just because they didn’t feel the need to have the most recent version. For example, I have a friend that currently has Snow Leopard and she didn’t feel the need to upgrade to Lion. She was comfortable forgoing many of Lion’s new features. However, she doesn’t know (until I convinced her to upgrade last week) that if she didn’t upgrade to Lion, there was a chance that Mountain Lion wouldn’t be available to her. If you are not “upgradeable”, even the best software out there doesn’t help.

  • Is your stuff in the cloud?

The features in Mountain Lion will almost make it necessary to have iCloud to take full advantage of Mountain Lion. The software makes use of Notification Center and Reminders just to name a few, iCal pings your iOS calendar events to your Mac and all of your contacts are saved automatically into Contacts for Mac. If you are not using iCloud, it is time to start now.

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Getting new software for your Mac is akin to getting surgery for a human body. If the body is healthy before surgery, the procedure will most likely go without a hitch. However, if you have an ailment, surgery could increase your symptoms and even make new ones. Before you download, here are a couple of things to do to your Mac before you download.

  • Major Cleanup

The first thing you should do is look for cleanup software that will do a full system cleanup for your Mac. The software that I use is Magican. The software allows you to look at which software is weighing down your system, see your Mac’s system health, and even delete the application right in Magican itself. Software is one of the biggest pieces of junk that can weigh down a computer, and clearing this is very important. Aside from software, Magican also clears out plugins and packages not in use in some of your apps. Aside from apps, it’s also important to do a simple clean up of files not in use. If you have a ton of photos you don’t use, go through and delete them.

  • Backup files to Dropbox

After cleaning up your system, you can go a step further and move the files that are useful to an external or online storage provider, like Dropbox. In addition to gaining back more space, placing your items in Dropbox or another storage source will allow them to be accessible in the event of something going wrong with your laptop.

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When Mountain Lion hits the Mac App Store, you may want to just jump on and download. That’s not exactly recommended to do. First, you should do a final system check for any updates. There is a huge chance that an important security update will be released by Apple on the release day. There is also a larger chance that third party developers release their upgrades on the day as well. After you do a final check for any updates, you should also make a final backup of your system. There could be a possibility that important files were added between the time you did the first backup and launch day. Lastly, make sure that your Apple ID is up to date in terms of credit card information and email addresses. Aside from that, make sure you have a secure, preferably wired Internet connection and ensure that your Mac is connected to a stable power source. Enjoy!

Mountain Lion will go on sale for $19.99, on the Mac App Store. If you purchased a Mac after June 11th, your download is free! You can check here for the procedure to claim your free copy.

Let us know in the comments what questions you have about Mountain Lion’s July release, we are here to answer them all!