Apple’s confirmed a new macOS Big Sur 11.3 update and the software is currently in testing ahead of its official release for Macs.
The company’s pushed macOS Big Sur 11.3 into beta for developers and those enrolled in the company’s public Beta Software Program. The Beta Software Program is free to anyone with a compatible device and an Apple ID.
macOS Big Sur 11.3 is a milestone release which means it will bring new features, enhancements, bug fixes for lingering macOS Big Sur issues and security patches.
It’s an exciting update and it’s one that Mac users should have their eyes on as we push deeper into the month.
macOS Big Sur 11.3 Release Date
Apple’s hasn’t confirmed the macOS Big Sur 11.3 release date and we expect the software to stay in testing for awhile longer. The company is currently sitting on its second beta.
The company says iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 will be pushed to the public sometime in early spring though it hasn’t provided a specific date yet. We expect macOS Big Sur 11.3 to roll out alongside these updates.
Spring in the United States starts on March 20th so at this point we’d expect the official roll out to happen sometime in late March.
Apple’s reportedly launching new hardware, including a new iPad Pro, in March so we could see these updates arrive in and around those releases.
With the macOS Big Sur 11.3 release date on the horizon, it’s time to start thinking about its arrival. In this guide we’ll outline some tips and tricks that will come in handy as we close in on the next major macOS Big Sur update for Macs.
- Prepare for the macOS Big Sur 11.3 Release Date
- Get Familiar with macOS Big Sur 11.3
- Avoid the macOS Big Sur 11.3 Beta
- Monitor Feedback
- macOS Big Sur 11.3 Release Time
- macOS Big Sur 11.3 Download Size
- Prepare for Problems
- Be Ready to Downgrade
- Keep Your Apps Updated
- Take Your Time
Prepare for the macOS Big Sur 11.3 Release Date
The macOS Big Sur 11.3 release date is still weeks away, but some of you might want to start doing some prep work.
macOS Big Sur 11.3 will probably require a significant chunk of space on your Mac’s internal storage. Milestone upgrades typically do.
If you’re getting low on storage, use this time to do some cleanup. Go into your Mac’s storage and delete files you no longer need. This will help make room for macOS Big Sur 11.3 and it could improve your Mac’s overall performance.
You should also start backing up the data you store on your Mac. Data loss issues are rare, but there’s always a chance something goes wrong during the transition.
If you haven’t installed macOS Big Sur yet, macOS Big Sur 11.3 could log you out of your apps and services. We recommend having your Apple ID, iCloud information, third-party app login info handy just in case.
Get Familiar with macOS Big Sur 11.3 and Older Updates
You should get familiar with the changes coming with macOS Big Sur 11.3 ahead of its arrival.
We’ve released a guide that will walk you through the known changes on board the next version of macOS Big Sur. It’s a great place to start.
If you’re still hanging around on an older version of macOS and you don’t have plans to upgrade to macOS Big Sur just yet, make sure you get familiar with newer versions of macOS because you’ll get their changes when you upgrade.
Most People Should Avoid the macOS Big Sur 11.3 Beta
Installing the macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta on your Mac might be tempting, especially if you’re dealing with problems, but most people should avoid the beta and wait for the official release.
The beta will help Apple tackle bugs and performance issues before they become major headaches for millions of Mac users. It’s also fun to try out changes before they’re released to the general public. That said, beta software can be extremely problematic.
The macOS Big Sur 11.3 update is causing problems for some testers and you could run into these very same issues if you decide to install it on your computer.
If you rely on your device to get through a day of school or work, you’ll want to stay put on whatever version of macOS you’re currently running.
Monitor Feedback from the macOS Big Sur 11.3 Beta
If you do decide to skip the macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta, make sure you monitor feedback from beta testers as we push toward the official release.
Monitoring feedback will alert you to potential problems and it will also alert you to potential benefits. More importantly, it might help you decide if you want to install macOS Big Sur 11.3 right away or wait.
We’ve seen macOS Big Sur 11.3 feedback emerge on sites like YouTube and Twitter. Check those sites if you’re curious about the software’s performance.
macOS Big Sur 11.3 Release Time
If you’ve owned a Mac and/or an iPhone for awhile you already know this, but for those of you who are new Apple’s ecosystem, here’s your PSA.
Apple almost always rolls software updates out around 10AM Pacific. That will likely be the case for the final version of macOS Big Sur 11.3.
Here’s what that looks like for other time zones in the United States:
- Eastern – 1 PM
- Central – 12 PM
- Mountain – 11AM
Keep this in mind if you plan to install new macOS Big Sur 11.3 betas and/or the final version of macOS Big Sur 11.3 right away.
macOS Big Sur 11.3 Download Size
We don’t know how big the macOS Big Sur 11.3 download will be, but again, you can expect it to require quite a bit of free space.
You can expect long download times, especially around the time Apple pushes the update live, but the installation process will probably take longer.
We’ll let you know when we learn more about the exact size of the upgrade.
Prepare for macOS Big Sur 11.3 Problems
macOS Big Sur 11.3 will go through an extensive beta process, but the final version won’t be perfect. Issues will slip into the final release.
Common macOS problems include abnormal battery drain, Bluetooth issues, Wi-Fi problems, app instability, UI lag, crashes, and Exchange issues. These problems appear after every single macOS release and there’s a good chance we’ll see them emerge in the aftermath of the macOS Big Sur 11.3 release.
It’ll be difficult to predict what kind of performance you’ll get once you move your Mac to new software so you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared to tackle any issues you encounter on day one and beyond.
We’ve released a list of fixes for common macOS Big Sur problems. If you don’t consider yourself a macOS expert, you’ll want to bookmark those fixes.
You should also be familiar with Apple’s Discussion forums.
Learn How to Downgrade
If you run into into issues with macOS Big Sur 11.3 you will be able to downgrade back to an older version of macOS.
If you aren’t familiar with the macOS downgrade process, today is a great day to get familiar with it.
Keep Your Apps Updated
If you want the best experience on macOS Big Sur 11.3, make sure you keep your apps updated.
As we push toward the macOS Big Sur 11.3 release, keep an eye out for macOS support updates. These updates should help stabilize performance and help your device make a smooth transition to new software.
Before you download an app update, make sure you read reviews from users. These reviews will alert you to potential benefits and problems with the latest version.
Take Your Time with macOS Big Sur 11.3
macOS Big Sur 11.3 is an exciting upgrade and some of you might be tempted to install it the second it arrives.
For some of you, particularly those dealing with macOS Big Sur problems, this might be your best course of action. That said, some of you will be better off waiting a few hours, a few days or, in some cases, a few weeks before installing the firmware.
There are plenty of reasons to skip macOS software updates on day one. For one, macOS updates can wreak havoc on your device’s performance.
If you’re feeling leery, dig into feedback from early adopters. If you’re still undecided, think about waiting.
Install macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 for Better Security
If security is important to you, you should think about installing the macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 update.
macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 doesn't have any known security updates on board. However, if you skipped earlier versions of macOS, you'll get the security patches from updates you skipped with your upgrade.
The previous version of macOS Big Sur, macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, had three security patches on board. You can read about them over on its security website.
If you skipped macOS Big Sur 11.2, you'll get its patches with your upgrade to macOS Big Sur 11.2.2.
macOS Big Sur 11.2 included 50+ security patches. You can learn more about these patches over on the company's website. These patches will help protect your computer from harm.
If you skipped macOS Big Sur 11.1, you'll get its 51 security patches with your upgrade to macOS Big Sur 11.2.2. You can read about them right here.
macOS Big Sur 11.1 also included a new privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app’s privacy practices.
If you're moving up from macOS Catalina, you'll also get macOS Big Sur 11.0.1's 50+ security patches. If you're interested these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.
In addition to those patches, macOS Big Sur comes with additional security and privacy upgrades including improvements to the App Store and Safari.
In Safari, you can now tap the Privacy Report button to better understand how websites handle your privacy.
With macOS Big Sur on board you can now get information on the App Store that will help you understand the privacy practices of apps before you download them.
Researchers also discovered that Apple brought a new "BlastDoor" sandbox security system to macOS Big Sur, iOS 14, and iPadOS 14. The system is meant to prevent attacks from occurring via the Messages app.
You can read more about "BlastDoor" right here.
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