mac data recovery
Top 3 Mac Nightmares
November 28, 2017
Dead Hard Drive Contains Bitcoin Wallet
December 7, 2017

Top 3 Things to Do Before Upgrading to macOS High Sierra

macOS High Sierra

Our data recovery experts know computers backward, forward, inside and out. We have to. In this post, our Mac data recovery expert Charles talks a bit about some of the changes the new macOS High Sierra makes and what you need to keep in mind before you take the plunge and update your Mac.


Update 12-5-17: Apple’s much-maligned root password bug, patched earlier last week, reared its head again after an update from macOS High Sierra 10.13.0 to 10.13.1 undid Apple’s patch. Fortunately, protecting yourself from the root password bug simply requires you to set a root password, which you can learn how to do here.


Apple released their newest macOS High Sierra on September 25th of this year. Just like any new OS release, there are big changes in functionality. Among these changes are allowing their users to access the latest and greatest apps, improvements to security underneath the covers and overall improvements in speed and stability.

High Sierra’s been out for a while, and if you’ve held off this long, you might be chomping at the bit to get at it. But don’t get too hasty. You’ve waited long enough. You can take just a little bit of time to do a few important things before you take the plunge:

Before you Upgrade to High Sierra…

#1 Back Up Your Crucial Files

It’s easy to grow complacent with our computers. We assume our beloved files will always be there when we need them, whether they’re our business documents, our family photos, our music collection, or our Photoshop project files. (Of course, we don’t assume this anymore, because we work at Gillware and see the devastating effects of data loss every day. But plenty of people still take the safety of their data for granted.)

The truth is, after any huge OS upgrade, there is always running a chance of something going wrong. Such as everything suddenly going missing afterward. We see this happen a lot in our lab, as you can see from our case studies.

Cloud services and external hard drives are readily available nowadays. That it would be a mistake to not utilize them. Services like iCloud and iPhoto by themselves are no replacement for a full file-based backup. However, they are the least you can do when it comes to keeping your data safe. This may seem like too much of a hassle, but from my years as an engineer at Gillware, I can tell you with absolute certainty that backing your data up will save you a ton of heartache, frustration, and unneeded stress.

#2 Update Your Software Before Updating Your OS

Updating all of the software on your Mac to their latest versions before installing High Sierra should help everything transition much more smoothly. For example, if an outdated version of Photoshop or Lightroom does not work with High Sierra, you will run into all sorts of compatibility issues until you install the latest software update.

Sometimes there are understandable reasons not to go ahead with a software update. Even programmers make mistakes, and sometimes Version 1.0.4 is just better than Version 1.1.2. But in general, keeping your software up-to-date can help with bugs and other issues.

#3 Take It Slow and Look Carefully

We are all guilty of rushing through and clicking “Yes” to things without really reading what we are agreeing too, such as iTunes’ Terms of Service. We live in a world of instant gratification, after all. And for so many situations in our lives today our mantra is “I want it now!” However, you need to keep a very close eye on what your computer wants you to agree to before you click “Yes.”

After all, you might want to say no. Especially if your Mac is asking for your permission to format your hard drive before it installs High Sierra!

We see data recovery cases all the time that were caused, literally, by the slip of a finger. Your computer gives you a prompt to reformat your hard drive. You mash through the prompt without taking the time to look at the dialog box. The next thing you know, you’ve reformatted your hard drive–and lost all your data!

Fortunately, if the worst happens when you go to install High Sierra on your Mac, you already know where to go for data recovery services.


Our Mac expert Charles will be back with more insight on Macs, and the new filesystem Apple has debuted for High Sierra soon, so stay tuned!

Charles Lease
Charles Lease
Charles has been with us in our cleanroom as a full-time engineer since 2014. Outside of work, Charles plays electric guitar in a local band.