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WWDC 2021 screenshot
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macOS 12 Monterey logo

Now that Apple’s Unleashed event is over, we’ve finally gotten further details about how to download and install macOS 12 Monterey. The operating system will arrive on October 25 as a free update, and you won’t have long to wait to try it out.

When macOS 12 Monterey was announced back in June during the WWDC 2021 keynote, it turned out to not be as big of an update as its predecessor, macOS 11 Big Sur, but that didn’t mean there isn’t plenty to the new OS update. 

There has been a lot of interest in how to download macOS 12 Monterey even in its public beta phase, and now that macOS 12 Monterey is getting its full release, you’ll be able to download the much more stable version of Apple’s latest operating system on compatible machines without having to worry about a whole host of bugs to spot and report that risked crashing your MacBook and Mac devices. 

This can still happen, of course, for the first few weeks after the macOS 12 Monterey is released, so if stability’s your thing, you might want to wait a few weeks after it launches for more bug fixes to roll out.

Unlike the earlier Developer Preview of macOS 12 Monterey, which you needed to enroll in the Apple Developer Program to access (which costs $99, about £69, AU$140), the public beta for macOS 12 Monterey was completely free, as is the full release of the OS.

Before you begin to download macOS 12 Monterey, you should make sure your Mac can run the software.  These are the Macs that you can install macOS 12 Monterey on: 

Whenever you upgrade your operating system, even if it’s a full release and not a beta version, we still highly recommend backing up the files on your Mac, so if anything goes wrong you can quickly restore your machine to its previous working order.

Before you download and install the macOS 12 Monterey, make sure your Mac is backed up. For information on how to do this, head over to our ultimate guide to backing up your Mac.

Now that Apple is rolling out the new operating system update on October 25, downloading and installing macOS 12 Monterey should be fairly easy and pain free. 

Open up System Preferences and then select ‘Software Update’. The macOS 12 Monterey update should be there. 

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