The public beta for macOS Sierra will be coming out today. Here's how to make sure your Mac is ready for it.

As soon as the macOS Sierra beta goes public, it is open to anyone willing to take a risk on dealing with the unfinished product. Before you get started, you should make sure your Mac is ready for the download and installation process.

If you haven't already learned everything you need to know, check out our first impressions.

Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS 10, watchOS 3, tvOS 10, and macOS Sierra as closed developer previews or public betas for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. (Sadly, no public betas for the Apple Watch or tvOS.) While the betas contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that can prevent the normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not intended for everyday use on a primary device. That's why we strongly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using the public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final release.

What to know before you start: Is my Mac eligible for macOS Sierra?

The macOS Sierra beta will run on the following devices:

  • iMac (Late 2009 & later)
  • MacBook Air (2010 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2009 or newer)
  • Mac mini (2010 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (2010 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (2010 or newer)

Step 1: Clean up your Mac

After you install macOS Sierra, you'll be able to take advantage of the new Storage Optimization features, but before you install the public beta, you should clean up your Mac to make room for the download.

Step 2: back up your Mac

Seriously. Back it up. Even if you have scheduled backups every night, just push a manual backup before you get started. It's the right thing to do. The easiest way to back up your Mac is with Time Machine, but there are a few other ways you can back it up that work just as well.

Step 3: Decide how you are going to download the macOS Sierra public beta

You can download and install the macOS Sierra public beta directly onto your computer if you have a spare lying around that you don't use as your daily driver. If you don't have a spare, but still want to test the new operating system, you can partition your hard drive and boot it on as a secondary system.

You can also download the public beta onto a thumbdrive so that you can install it on multiple computers without having to re-download each time.

Step 4: Download the macOS Sierra public beta

Your Mac is ready to go. Now all you have to do is download and install the macOS Sierra public beta!