Mac Help: Should I install Yosemite now?

Welcome to the inaugural installment of our new Mac Help feature. Each week I try to help our readers sort out problems they're having with their Macs. If you have a question or issue you're having trouble with, I encourage you to email us at

This week's question comes to us from Loren Stephens:

Last year you wrote an article suggesting to not upgrade from Mavericks to Yosemite. I took your advice. I haven't seen a follow-up article. In your opinion do you feel that it is okay to upgrade or do you recommend still holding off? I know there were issues with Wi-Fi. Have those issues been solved?


Thanks for writing. I always emphasize caution to our readers when Apple introduces a major new operating system because problems can and usually do occur, especially early. My advice to Mavericks users was the same as what I doled out to iOS 8 users and to iOS 7 users last year. Sometimes the perils of a major operating system upgrade aren't worth the trouble unless you're willing to accept the risk of being an early adopter.

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Having said that, I've been using Yosemite since the developer betas were new, so this is a situation where I recommend doing as I say, not as I do. And I know many readers who commented on that Yosemite article scoffed at my suggestion, which is fine. It wasn't meant as blanket advice for everyone, just for those that might not have thought it all through.

Apple's been improving Yosemite in fits and starts; a 10.10.1 update came out in November which purportedly fixed some of the Wi-Fi problems that people reported early on. But it didn't fix them all, which is why Apple's been seeding development betas of 10.10.2 which is also being tested for Wi-Fi improvements.

New builds of the developer beta has been in developers' hands since November, so it should be nearing completion. Once it's out in the world it'll be interesting to see if it squashes the Wi-Fi problems once and for all, or if there are still some lingering issues.

For my part, I haven't had any problems at all with Wi-Fi reliability on my 2013-era Retina MacBook Pro running Yosemite, and I've had the 10.10.2 betas on here for a while. So I'm feeling pretty confident it's an improvement, but time will tell.

One other thing, and this is important: If your Mac is running at or close to the low-end system requirements for Yosemite (you can find them on this Apple web page#mn_e), think carefully before upgrading. I'd be especially wary if you're using a pre-2009 era Mac, and if your Mac has less than 4 GB of RAM. If you're content with the performance you now have, you may want to stick with what you have — especially on an older machine that isn't going to benefit from either the Retina display-optimized user interface or the Continuity improvements introduced in Yosemite and iOS 8 (because they're dependent on more up-to-date internal Mac hardware).

Have a Mac question for us? Send your e-mail to and we might feature it in a future column.

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