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9 Things to Do Before Installing macOS Monterey 12.6.1

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Installing Apple’s new macOS Monterey 12.6.1 update might be tempting, but there are some steps you should take before moving your Mac from your current version of macOS Monterey, or older software, to the company’s latest firmware.

Apple’s pushed a new macOS Monterey 12.6.1 upgrade to Mac users. macOS Monterey 12.6.1 brings a very short list of changes to Mac users. It doesn’t have any new features on board. Instead, it’s focused on patching up security issues.

If you’re moving up from the latest version of macOS Monterey you’ll get the shortest change log and the smallest download. If you’re moving to macOS Monterey 12.6.1 from older software, your upgrade could be far more substantial.

macOS Monterey 12.6.1 is an important update and many of you should install it in the near future. That being said, it’s difficult to predict how the new software will impact your Mac’s performance.

While some of you could see a boost, others will run into frustrating bugs and performance issues. And that’s precisely why it’s important to do some prep work before you start the installation. A little work ahead of time could help you avoid serious problems.

With that in mind, we want to help you prepare for the transition from your current version of macOS to macOS Monterey 12.6.1. We always recommend spending 30 minutes, or more, preparing yourself and your device for the move.

Learn About macOS Monterey 12.6.1

Make sure you get familiar with macOS Monterey 12.6’s changes before you install it.

We’ve released a guide that will walk you through the changes on board the macOS Monterey 12.6.1 update. If you’ll be moving up from macOS Big Sur or older software, you should also check out Apple’s guide to macOS Monterey over on its website.

Decide If You’re Upgrading or Doing a Clean Install

There are two ways to install macOS Monterey 12.6.1 on your Mac. You can update and keep everything in place, or you can do a clean install if you want to start from scratch.

The update option is the easiest route and it’s the one most Mac users should take. This keeps all your files, apps and photos in place and takes the least amount of time.

Of course, it can also bring along problems and it also keeps the clutter. If you don’t regularly remove unneeded files from your Mac, a clean install can wipe your drive clean and free up space. It will only install the apps and files you need.

You can do a clean installation using this guide. Before you do, make sure you back up all your important files.

Backup Your Mac

Make sure you backup your Mac before you install macOS Monterey 12.6.1.

Before you click install, make sure your important files are backed up to the cloud. We also recommend having a local Time Machine Backup handy.

If you run into problems with the macOS Monterey 12.6.1 installation, you can restore from a backup and be up and running on older macOS software pretty quickly.

From there, you can try installing macOS Monterey 12.6.1 again or try and troubleshoot the issue.

Make Sure You Know Your Passwords

Make sure you have all of your passwords handy before you install macOS Monterey 12.6.1 on your Mac.

When you restart your Mac after installing macOS Monterey 12.6.1, you will need to log in to your computer and you may need to log into your Apple account as well as your apps and services.

We recommend using a password manager like LastPass, 1Password or even Apple’s built-in manager to store this information for you.

If you don’t want to use these, make sure you test logging into your Apple account and your email.

Dig Into macOS Monterey 12.6.1 Feedback

If you’re feeling leery about the move to macOS Monterey 12.6.1, you should dig through feedback from early adopters.

Again, there’s a chance you encounter bugs and/or performance issues on your Mac after moving to Apple’s new macOS firmware.

Software updates like macOS Monterey 12.6.1 often hits older Mac models the hardest so if you own an older Mac model, and you’re concerned about the jump up from your current macOS software, you’ll want to track down feedback from those who have taken the plunge.

This feedback will alert you to potential bugs and problems. You also might learn about potential benefits of Apple’s latest macOS update.

You’ll want to poke around on Apple’s discussion forums, YouTube, and social media sites like Twitter for feedback from macOS Monterey 12.6.1 users.

Some of you might want to wait for long-term feedback to emerge before committing. And others might even want to wait for Apple to roll out new software.

Prepare for macOS Monterey 12.6.1 Problems

Apple tested macOS Monterey 12.6.1 behind the scenes, but problems have unsurprisingly slipped through the cracks into the final version.

As we push away from the release we’re already hearing about a number of different issues ranging from installation problems to issues with first and third-party apps.

If you don’t have an encyclopedia of fixes for macOS issues stored inside your head, you’ll want to track down and bookmark fixes for potential problems.

To help you get started, have a look at our list of fixes for the most common macOS Monterey problems. We’ve also released a guide that will help you fix macOS Monterey battery life issues.

Check App Reviews, Compatibility and Install Updates

If you rely on your apps to get you through the day, you might want to read app reviews before you install macOS Monterey 12.6.1 on your computer(s).

App developers are rolling out macOS Monterey support updates. These updates will be crucial to your experience on the new software.

Before you install macOS Monterey 12.6.1, you’ll want to head to the App Store and read reviews from users. If reviews are mostly positive, go ahead and install the latest update(s).

If the feedback is negative, you might want to wait for a new version of macOS Monterey or for the developer to update the app before moving your device to the latest software.

Talk to IT Before Installing

If you use your Mac for work you might want to check with your IT team (if you have one) and make sure you’re got the green light to install macOS Monterey 12.6.1.

Enterprise problems plague every single version of macOS and they can be particularly nasty after Apple releases new macOS software.

If you depend on your device to get work done, it’s important to get in touch with IT to see if the update is safe to use. If you’ve got an IT department, they should be able to provide you with feedback about the core apps and services you use.

If you don’t have an IT department or a tech on site, you might want to ask around the office or talk to friends who use the same services and see how they’re doing on the software.

Learn About the Downgrade Process

You should familiarize yourself with the downgrade process before you download macOS Monterey 12.6.1.

If you run into problems, apps that don’t work, battery life issues, or just don’t like the new update, you can downgrade to older macOS Monterey software, macOS Big Sur or an older version of macOS. It’s a lot easier than downgrading iOS and there’s no limit to how far back you can go.

The easiest way to do this is to restore a Time Machine Backup that you made right before installing the macOS Monterey 12.6.1 update. If you made a backup, this will help get your Mac running on an older version of macOS very quickly.

Here’s more on how to downgrade macOS software to an older version.

4 Reasons Not to Install macOS Monterey 12.6.1 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install macOS Monterey 12.6.1 for Better Security

Install macOS Monterey 12.6.1 for Better Security

If security is important to you, think about installing the macOS Monterey 12.6.1 update right away.

The macOS Monterey 12.6.1 update has three important security patches on board. These are vital to protecting you and your data from harm.

As for older macOS updates, macOS Monterey 12.6 had a grand total of 8 security patches on board.  For more information about these changes, check out Apple's rundown.

macOS Monterey 12.5.1 had a pair of important security patches on board and you can read about them in detail right here.

The macOS Monterey 12.5 update brought 50 important security patches with it and they will help protect you and your device from harm. If you want to learn more, head over to Apple's website

macOS Monterey 12.4 delivered 50+ security patches. If you're interested in the details, you'll want to head on over to the company's security site.

macOS Monterey 12.3.1 brought two security patches to Mac users. You can read more about them over on Apple's website

Apple's macOS Monterey 12.3 update had 40+ security patches on board. If you want to learn more about these upgrades, you can check the particulars over on Apple's security site.

The macOS Monterey 12.2.1 update brought an important patch to Mac users. You can learn more about the patch over at Apple's security site

Apple's macOS Monterey 12.2 update had 13 security patches on board. If you're interested in the details, head on over to Apple's website to learn more.

macOS Monterey 12.1 included 40+ new security patches to Macs. You can read all about them over on the company's security site

Microsoft says it discovered a new 'Powerdir' vulnerability lurking in macOS. Powerdir allows "an attacker to bypass the operating system’s Transparency, Consent, and Control (TCC) technology, thereby gaining unauthorized access to a user’s protected data." Fortunately, Apple patched up the issue in macOS Monterey 12.1. 

macOS Monterey 12.1 also included some important upgrades to privacy. The software delivered Apple's communication safety features for kids. You'll find these features in the Messages app, in Siri, in Spotlight, and in Search. 

If you're moving up from macOS Big Sur, you'll also get macOS Monterey 12.0.1's 30+ security patches when you update. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.

In addition to those patches, the macOS Monterey update comes with additional security and privacy upgrades.

If you're an Apple Card user, you'll now get a security code that changes regularly to use when you make online transactions. 

Apple's also included a built-in authenticator that's similar to Google Authenticator. This will let you generate verification codes for enhanced sign-in security under your Passwords.

New Mail Privacy Protection helps prevent senders from tracking your Mail activity and there's a new recording indicator in Control Center for apps that are accessing your mic.

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