To upgrade your mac or NOT

Apple is currently offering macOS 10.12 (Sierra) as an update.  ITS does not currently support Sierra and recommends against installing this new operating system at this time.  “Sierra” hasn’t been around long enough to have been thoroughly tested with all applications in use on campus.  Please see for more information.

We recommend upgrading to OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) if you are not already running it; this is currently the preferred operating system for college-owned Macintosh computers.  Older operating systems are not updated; they also may not be able to browse to secure websites, and cannot run the latest version of Microsoft Office.

Caution: Back up your important data before upgrading your operating system!  While we should always keep our information secure, upgrades pose an extra risk of data loss due to the sheer amount of work a hard drive goes through during this process.  Performing an upgrade while on campus, using your Ethernet cable and power supply will provide best results.  To upgrade your system, open the Self Service utility on college-owned Macs, then click on the OS category on the right.

If you have any questions or need help, please create a ticket at, and provide the “Property of Middlebury College” number for the computer you are using.

2 thoughts on “To upgrade your mac or NOT

  1. Matt Daylor

    Hi guys!

    It’s June and the next OS after Sierra will be coming out soon. Any word on when managed Middlebury-owned systems will be allowed to upgrade to Sierra?


  2. Nathan Burt Post author

    Great question, Matt.
    Our Sierra page ( currently lists some applications that are installed on a number of college-owned computers, and may cause conflicts with Sierra. If you have any of these installed, you should see a “Sierra – requirements not met” policy in Self Service, and should create a ticket with the Helpdesk for follow-up. Otherwise, please DO go ahead and upgrade to 10.12 using the App Store (or we can set you up with Self Service, if you prefer).
    Thanks for the reminder.


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