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macOS (How To) - Upgrading to a new version of macOS

This article describes the new upgrade options for managed macOS devices

What's new?

Apple has presented a new software upgrade process for users running macOS Monterey 12.3 and later. Now, a user can perform an incremental upgrade to macOS Ventura without entering administrator credentials. This upgrade method does not require the use of Self Service & can be performed by any user of a device. If the device being upgraded is running macOS 12.2 or earlier, it will either need to be updated to 12.3 or upgrade through Self Service.

Full Installer vs. Incremental Upgrade

The graphic below shows the visual differences between the full installer and the incremental upgrade when using Software Update to upgrade macOS. The full installer requires administrative privileges, and the incremental upgrade can be installed by any user. 

Full Installer

Full Installer

Incremental Upgrade

Incremental Upgrade

Upgrade using Self Service

Self Service is also available for upgrading a Mac's Operating System. Launch Self Service and run the advertised upgrade tool. If no upgrade is available for the device, there might not be anything listed. Upgrades made available through Self Service can be run by any user.

Why you may not be able to upgrade / Troubleshooting

Instead of an upgrade, there may be a tool titled "Why Can't I Upgrade to macOS 13 Ventura?" By clicking the Explain button, the tool will detail what is preventing the device from upgrading. It may be a simple as not having enough free disk space to perform the upgrade, or may be because the computer is not compatible and needs to be replaced. Either way, the tool will display the problem to help resolve it.  

Why Can't I upgrade

Hardware Compatibility

If it has been over seven years since the device was first released, it may need to be replaced to run the latest version of macOS. Please contact your department head or business manager to inquire about purchasing a replacement device. 

Hardware not compatible

Available Disk Space

The tool also check to ensure there is enough free space to download, unpack, and install the upgrade. System SSDs that do not have enough free space may be presented with a dialogue box like the one below.

Requirements not met

Software Update Hang or Not Available                              

If you do see a full installer through Software Update, but do not see the incremental upgrade, try refreshing Software Update by pressing Command+R or running the "Force Software Update Check" from Self-Service

Get Additional Support / Contact the UWM Help Desk

If your device is eligible, and you've attempted to run the upgrade and "Force Software Update Check" does not resolve the issue, then it may be time to request support for further assistance.

Contact the UWM Help Desk

Fill out the online support form and the UWM Help Desk will contact you to assist with your technology question. You may also call or email the UWM Help Desk.

Phone: 1-414-229-4040
Toll-Free Number: 1-877-381-3459
Email: helpdesk@it.uwm.edu
Online Support Form



KeywordsmacOS,Ventura, macOS 13, self-service, Apple, Mac   Doc ID123073
OwnerEmmitt H.GroupUW-Milwaukee Help Desk
Created2022-12-15 14:06:51Updated2023-09-13 14:25:18
SitesUW-Milwaukee Help Desk
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