09 Feb 2019
macOS version 10.14.0, called "Mojave," was released on 2018-09-24.
It is a free update to 10.13 High Sierra.
This note describes how to update a computer from an older version of macOS to OS X 10.14 Mojave.
Apple released MacOS 10.14.1 on 30 Oct 2018, fixing security bugs and adding support for Group FaceTime calls, and 70 more emoji.
Apple released MacOS 10.14.2 on 05 Dec 2018, fixing security bugs and a few other bugs.
Apple released MacOS 10.14.3 on 22 Jan 2019, fixing multiple security bugs.
Here is a review of Mojave from Ars Technica .
I have installed Mojave on two computers, and the installation went OK.
I plan to update one more: a fourth 6-year-old computer is too old to run Mojave and is stuck on High Sierra.
Many users report success installing Mojave,
but a friend who tried to upgrade two computers to Mojave had one success, and one disastrous failure.
Mojave ships with new Macs.
New Features of Mojave
Most of the new features are cosmetic. Some are iPhone related.
- dark mode (optional)
- desktop pictures changing by time of day (optional)
- stacks - a new desktop display option
- Finder changes
- QuickLook changes
- screenshot changes
- Continuity Camera: photo integration with iPhone
- up to 32 people in FaceTime
- some apps from iOS now run on macOS
- App Store changes
- emoji in Mail
- APFS (a new file system) for hard drives and Fusion drives as well as SSDs
Should I Install Mojave?
If your computer is working now, there is no urgent need to change your OS,
until you want the new features,
or continuing security updates (High Sierra and Sierra are still getting security updates).
Apple will probably drop support for older versions of OS X eventually.
Usually they support the current version and the previous version.
Using an unsupported OS will still work,
but if security problems are found in an unsupported version, Apple usually does not patch them.
Eventually, companies will write software that requires features of the latest Apple OS,
and someday you may want to buy and use some of that software.
If your current Macintosh fails and you have to buy a new one,
you'll end up migrating to Mojave whether you were ready or not.
Check MacInTouch for the latest status.
A friend reported being unable to upgrade an iMac. His installation failed, leaving him with a bricked computer.
He had to restore from backup. (Good thing he had one! See below.)
Other users have reported problems installing Mojave, or network failures after installation.
If you have an old Mac Pro, you must turn off FileVault disk encryption.
What you Should Do Now to Get Ready for Mojave
to keep all Apple software up to date, including the OS.
- Apply all free updates to other software you use.
- Set up an external hard drive and use Time Machine.
- Add more RAM if you can.
If you are running a version of Mac OS X earlier than Snow Leopard, you will have to install Snow Leopard first.
You can buy an installer disc for Snow Leopard from Apple's web site for $20.
Who Can Update
Not everyone can use the new OS version.
Only fairly new Macs can run Mojave.
See the list online at the Apple web site that specifies what Mac models can run Mojave.
If your computer does not meet these requirements, stick with the latest Mac OS X you can run.
(I have a Mac Mini that is too old: "late 2012" is the requirement, and October 2012 doesn't qualify. I think the issue is the graphics card.)
(Some old Mac Pros need an updated graphics card.)
- You need at least 2GB of memory, preferably more.
If you depend on PowerPC programs, the latest version of OS X that you can run is Snow Leopard,
since Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan, Sierra, High Sierra, and Mojave do not support Rosetta, the PowerPC emulator.
See the Frequently Asked Questions section about Mojave.
In particular, pre-Lion Quicken, Microsoft Office 2004, and some features of Adobe CS3 will not run on Mojave.
(See Adobe article.)
Stick with OS X 10.6.8a until you upgrade these applications.
(You could install VirtualBox (free) on your Mac, and install 10.6 into a virtual machine, and update it to 10.6.8a,
and run your PowerPC programs under the emulated OS.
I tried this on Yosemite, and it worked.)
If you depend on the Classic environment to run Mac OS 9 programs from the 1990s, stick with OS X 10.4.
If you have a Mac with a PowerPC processor, Mojave won't work on it.
Stick with OS X 10.5.8.
You can't install Mojave over an ancient version of OS X:
Apple's license terms specify that Mojave is only for Macs that have
Lion, Mountain Lion, Snow Leopard, Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan, Sierra, or High Sierra installed, and the installer enforces this restriction.
Old printers and scanners may not work if the manufacturer has not updated the driver software.
Those with PowerPC or 32-bit drivers will not work.
Plan your install
When you decide to install Mojave, do it carefully.
You may find that there are issues that affect you: do your homework.
Check MacInTouch to see if there are problems with macOS 10.14 that affect you.
Make sure you back up your entire disk before starting to install Mojave.
Preferably to more than one place.
Make a list of the hardware you depend on, and search the web to check that each device will work.
Older printers and scanners can have issues.
Leave yourself enough time.
Upgrading will tie up your computer for a big part of a day.
Installing takes an hour or two,
but then your computer will be very slow until it re-does the Spotlight index and does a big backup up to Time Machine.
Particular issues before upgrading
Here is a partial list of minimum program versions needed for Mojave.
For other programs, check product websites.
|Aquamacs||3.5 preview||graphics issues|
|Audacity||2.3.0||32-bit app warning OK for now|
|Adobe Acrobat||XI Pro
||Support ended in 2017. Seems to work. See below. (32-bit program)
||Known problems. See below.
Known problems. See below.
|Apple XCode||10.1||free with registration|
|Microsoft Office||2016||See below. (32-bit programs)|
|Quicken||2018||$35/yr. See below.|
Programs that will not be upgraded: Some device drivers: check with your device manufacturers.
The free software CUPS drivers may work for some printers.
Mac OSX Server 5.7.1 has many services removed.
Make sure your printers and scanners will be supported.
Some manufacturers don't release updated drivers for their printers for months after a new OS X release.
FileMaker 13 and 14 users report problems and crashes.
Adobe: Renting Instead of Buying
Adobe no longer sells regular application versions of Photoshop and Illustrator.
(Photoshop and Illustrator CS5 seem to work, with some issues. But they are 32-bit programs and won't work on the next macOS.)
Instead they rent you a Creative Cloud subscription.
Stop paying, the apps stop working.
They tell you that one advantage is that you'll get bug fixes and new features whenever they decide to release them.
(There are a lot of tricky deals, initial teasers, different bundles.
You could pay $20/app/mo or $600/yr for all CC apps.
Adobe also sells Photoshop Elements as a non-cloud application for $70 one-time.)
Similar deal for Adobe Acrobat.. Acrobat Pro DC rents for $179/yr, for 2 users.
(Acrobat XI Pro appears to still work on Mojave.)
You might be able to buy a lifetime copy for $449, but websites don't say how many computers are covered.
If you search the web for replacement products, there are some listed.
PC World suggests Nitro Pro 11, $160 lifetime for up to 10 users.
There are alternatives to Adobe products, such as much less expensive
Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer I am trying these out.
There are also free programs such as Polarr Photo Editor and GIMP.
With any of these replacements, you have to learn how to use new programs, and worry about compatibility:
printing services may have trouble with non-Adobe output.
Microsoft: Renting Instead of Buying
Microsoft wants to rent you "Office 365."
(Some Office 2011 programs still seem to work.)
Again there are multiple deals: for about $70/yr/computer you can get the whole suite.
You can also buy non-cloud Office 2019 Home & Student for $150 one-time.
There are alternatives to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, including Apple's Pages, Numbers, and Keynote;
the Google equivalents Docs, Sheets, and Slides; and free software such as Apache OpenOffice.
All of these will work for basic usage but may have compatibility issues with other products.
Quicken: Renting Instead of Buying
Quicken has moved to a rental model also.
Quicken wants to rent you Quicken 2018 for Mac for $35/yr.
Quicken 2007 (Lion update) sort of works on Mojave; won't make a backup to an APFS volume.
Since this is 32-bit software, it won't run on the macOS scheduled for 2019.
I bought a 2-year subscription to Quicken 2018 and attempted to import my Quicken 2007 data into it.
It did not work: transactions after 3/18/18 were not imported, on 3 different credit cards.
Spent several hours on this with Quicken support.
They said "we don't guarantee that importing will work from Quicken 2007."
I got a refund. I am trying Banktivity 7.
Clean up and update software before installing.
(If your Mac is running a very old version of OS X, you must install Snow Leopard 10.6.8 first,
in order to get a version of Apple App Store that can download Mojave.
Here is Apple's how to upgrade page.)
You can download the Mojave Installer from free.
This downloads a large file, the Mojave Installer, to your disk.
You can create a bootable installer volume on a USB key using
(But see the TidBits article "Previously Downloaded OS X Installers No Longer Work".)
Apple's license terms say you can update all your computers with one purchase.
. It is
- Get the applications on your computer ready for 10.14: apply the latest fixes.
- Delete junk files. Carefully.
- Delete Safari, iTunes, and Firefox caches, so your backup will be faster.
If you have customized your desktop background or screensaver, write down your settings.
Some Apple-provided pictures may not be available in the next version.. make a safe copy of anything you will want after upgrading.
- Empty the Trash.
- Clean up damaged and duplicate fonts.
- Have your software license keys handy in case you have to re-authorize products.
If you use MySQL, back up the database
with mysqldump databasename > db.sql.
Then stop MySQL.
- If you use Apache, save a copy of /etc/apache2/httpd.conf.
If you installed modules via CPAN, Macports, or Fink, make a list of them. In a Terminal window, type
perldoc perllocal | grep :: > cpan_modules.txt
port -qv installed > macports_packages.txt
The best way to handle Macports is to uninstall all the old ports and reinstall after updating the OS.
After you list your installed ports, type
sudo port -fp uninstall installed
in a Terminal window.
Backup and prepare.
BACK UP YOUR HARD DRIVE to an external disk.
I used SuperDuper to clone my whole drive.
Some cautious people make two backups.
If you are using an anti-virus product, disable it.
Some anti-malware programs see the utility that converts HFS to APFS as malware, and prevent it from running.
Since most anti-virus software is tightly integrated with the operating system,
you may have to install a Mojave-specific version of your software after installing Mojave anyway.
Check with the maker of your software.
If you installed a third-party Solid State Disk (SSD),
check the manufacturer's website to see if you need to update its firmware to work with Mojave.
If you connect your Mac to the network using WiFi,
and delete any WiFi networks you don't want to use.
(If you don't, your computer may connect to a very slow network during installation, which will slow down your install.)
- If you use a wireless mouse or keyboard, put in fresh batteries.
- Set screen saver to NEVER, and turn off Time Machine.
- Dismount and unplug or power off external drives.
Restart your computer.
(I've had problems where my computer hangs on shutdown. Restarting seems to fix it for a while. Don't want this trouble when installing a new OS.)
Run the Mojave (macOS 10.14) installer. If you downloaded it, use that copy.
Or you can just select
and install by clicking on the link.
- If FileVault is enabled on your computer, the installer will ask for a password to unlock the disk.
- The installer will run for about 15 minutes, then reboot, then run for about an hour, then reboot again. Might ask for your password again.
- The "time remaining" will show wildly varying estimates as the installer proceeds.
- Don't panic if you see a gray screen with "30 minutes remaining" for an hour. Just let it run.
- Eventually you will be presented with a login screen; enter your password.
- You will see a window about privacy.
- Next you will be asked if you want to send analytic information to Apple.
- Then you will be asked if you want light mode or dark mode appearance. (You can change this later.)
- Then the system will display your desktop. All your files and applications should be there.
If Mojave asks you if you want to "enable Desktop and Documents folder syncing to iCloud,"
the safest thing to do is to say NO.
If you say YES, these folders will be backed up in iCloud and available on all devices, which you may not want,
and saying YES may also enable "Optimize Storage" without asking,
which will delete files from your computer's drive if it gets too full.
Adam Engst's TidBITS article on Optimized Storage is very helpful.
to update to latest versions of Apple software,
then run it again to make sure all software is updated. (might take another hour)
This step may find additional OS and application updates.
Do a "smoke test" to verify that your computer is working OK.
Make sure the applications you depend on are still working.
Try out the applications from Apple that were updated with the OS.
If you have trouble, restore your backup and go back to the old OS version.
The first time you execute old versions of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator,
you may see an alert box that tells you that you have to install Java 6 first (even if you have Java 8 installed).
Click "more Info" and download and install the update. It won't hurt anything.
Wait for Spotlight to finish indexing (may take several hours).
Performance will suck till it finishes.
Turn on Time Machine and start your backup.
You don't have to repair disk permissions with Disk Utility any more.
In fact, you can't; the option is gone.
Restart the computer. Often this speeds things up.
Post Install Tasks
Once you are satisfied that your computer works acceptably,
and you are going to stay on Mojave,
you can make some adjustments.
If your computer seems slow or buggy, try zapping the PRAM.
If you have purchased applications that are OS version specific, like Onyx, buy updates and install them.
Clean your font caches by issuing the Terminal command sudo atsutil databases -remove and restarting.
If FileVault was on, it will be on after upgrading. Check to make sure.
In Fact, check all the System Preferences. Once in a while something is changed by an update.
You will probably want to set up per-user customizations, such as your desktop background and screensaver.
After each new OS generation this is something of an adventure; functions get renamed and moved around.
I really hate the CAPS LOCK key, so I disable it.
In Mojave, this is done by opening
and changing the action for CAPS LOCK to "No Action."
(I had set this on Sierra and it was carried over by the upgrade process.)
, I uncheck "Scroll Direction: natural" .. it seems UNnatural to me after 30 years.
(I had set this on Sierra and it was carried over by the upgrade process.)
I disable or silence most Notifications.
Under Mojave, Spotlight "shows suggestions from the Internet, iTunes, App Store, movie showtimes, locations nearby, and more."
To do this, it sends your location and query to Apple servers.
You may wish to change this if you are required to keep some information private.
Change it in two places:
uncheck "allow Spotlight Suggestions" in
and uncheck "Safari & Spotlight Suggestions" in
Some kinds of security certificates are no longer accepted. These are the ones using SHA-1, which is deprecated.
Check that your printers work.
If your printer will not work, you may be able to get it working by selecting
deleting the printer and adding the printer again:
for some printers, this will trigger running to get new printer software.
For other printers, you will have to download the correct printer driver from the manufacturer's web site.
If you have a scanner, plug it in and power it on. Mine worked fine.
If the scanner appears in Image Capture.
For other scanners, you will have to download the correct scanner driver from the manufacturer's web site.
If manufacturer-supplied software is not available, and Image Capture does not provide enough features,
you may be able to get it working by purchasing and installing VueScan.
, remove it, and add it again.
For some scanners, this will invoke to add a driver that will let you operate the scanner with
If you use your computer for programming, you'll need to re-install your tools,
which may have release dependent parts.
The order presented here worked for me.
In Terminal, type the command java.
If you don't have Java 8 installed,
this action will bring up a dialog box: click to bring up the Oracle JDK installation page in a web browser,
and trigger the installation of the Java 8 JDK from Oracle over the Internet. (check this)
Java is needed for Eclipse and for other Mac applications,
such as OpenOffice and some Adobe products, and VPN clients such as Cisco.
Java is not dangerous, if you use it to run code you trust: using it to run web page animations has had some problems.
Install the full Xcode package using the App Store,
and then install the Xcode command line tools from the Xcode menu.
This will take a long time, about an hour.
(Just using xcode-select won't work for some complex installs, which look for system header files installed by Xcode.)
MacPorts: see my instructions for MacPorts.
Basically the procedure is to list your ports and uninstall them before upgrade,
install the OS,
and reinstall your ports.
MacPorts may install new versions of Perl, Python, or Ruby required by ports:
set PERL5LIB correctly or installs will fail with messages about variants.
If you use Fink or Homebrew this is when you would update them.
Version 8.0.14 is supplied by Oracle for Mojave.
See the instructions for installing MySQL.
If you dumped your database, reload it with mysql < db.sql.
MySQL has to be installed before you can install DBD::mysql with CPAN.
If you use Perl module MaxMind::DB::Reader::XS, you must download and install libmaxminddb
from https://github.com/maxmind/libmaxminddb before installing the MaxMind module with CPAN.
(I had trouble doing this. The instructions say to do ./configure but no such file is provided.
Luckily the file left over from Sierra still works.)
Install any other libraries that are used by Perl modules at this point.
If you use Perl and Perl modules, install them.
Perl 5.26.2 is installed by MacPorts as it installs various modules.
See the instructions for installing CPAN for a list of modules I use.
This is the time to install Python and Ruby libraries also.
Apache web server:
Apache 2.4.34 is provided with Mojave, but is not automatically started and there is no System Preferences interface to enable it.
The Mojave install will not carry over your old Apache customizations.
diff /etc/apache2/httpd.conf against your saved copy and edit as necessary.
Start Apache using the terminal command
sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/org.apache.httpd.plist.
The -w means make it permanent across restarts.
(I got a fussy message when I did this, but the web server was running.)
PHP 7.1.19 is shipped with Mojave but disabled in httpd.conf.
You can enable it by uncommenting LoadModule php7_module libexec/apache2/libphp7.so.
I sometimes enable PHP in order to debug programs that will be deployed in safe environments on other computers.
If you enable it, be aware of the risks of making PHP available on the Internet from your Mac,
and track and install security updates.
Screen saver: if you patched the duration of a screen saver slide, as I did, you will have to reapply the patch.
You will have to disable SIP to do this, and then re-enable it after patching.
Word, Excel, and PowerPoint from Microsoft Office 2011 appear to work.
They are 32-bit programs though, and so they won't work on macOS 10.15.
I bought Office 2019 on Amazon, which sent me to their download page, which had a button to click to fetch the software.
I clicked the button and got a Microsoft page, which said I needed a "Microsoft account"
to download the software. I clicked "new account" and got the message
There's a temporary problem with the service. Please try again. If you continue to get this message, try again later.
I tried later, same message. Finally found an old account I could use to register Office 2019.
Office 2019 is at least as buggy and inconsistent as Office 2011.
- Preferences are inconsistent between Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Different methods to disable AutoCorrect in each.
Word was trying to use a Custom Dictionary stored in the Office 2011 preferences.
Trying to add words to it just got an alert sound.
Created a new Custom Dictionary and it was created in some other directory entirely.
Guess I have to re-train Word about spelling.
- Excel and PowerPoint have no preference that controls spelling or dictionaries.
- PowerPoint takes 15-20 seconds to open a document.
Photoshop CS5 crashes when opening a file, unless you go to
and enable Photoshop to control your computer.
It seems that Save for Web options are not remembered from one use of the program to another.
Photoshop will crash on exit unless you delete /Applications/Adobe Photoshop CS5/Plug-ins/Extensions/ScriptingSupport.plugin.
Adobe Acrobat Pro XI appears to work.
All of these are 32-bit programs and won't work on macOS 10.15.
New Features and Changes
System Integrity Protection has new security features that restrict what applications can do.
Mark Aldritt's blog has an informative article,
which pointes out that AppleScript will not support Scripting Additions not provided by Apple, and that
applications will need permission to send AppleEvents to other applications.
Some parts of the file system are not accessible by applications unless you grant these apps "Full Disk Access."
For instance, you can't do ls ~/Library/Mail from Terminal.
This limits the damage a rogue application can do, but it may cause problems for programming tools.
You can grant Full Disk Access to Terminal, but it is very coarse grained: all Unix commands, all file system files -- or none.
The "Privacy database" that controls what apps can access certain facilities has been extended in Mojave.
The database restricts what apps can reference things like Location Services, the camera, the microphone, contacts, photos, etc.
You will notice alerts asking if various applications can use resources like the camera or microphone, the first time you use the apps.
You may also get popups saying that "some app" wants to control "some other app."
If you trust the first application, you can say YES.
Some applications crash or fail as a result of new privacy features.
If it says "Some system software was blocked from loading", click Allow and check boxes for software you trust and wish to use, and click OK.
next, open and choose "Accessibility."
If an app having issues is unchecked, and you trust it, check its box.
The Finder has a new feature called Stacks,
which reorganizes the Desktop to make icons that represent a lot of files,
by kind or other criteria. Clicking on a stack spreads its contents.
There are three different cases where you enter your password.
Their behavior changes in Mojave.
(Actually there are probably six cases, three with FileVault on and three with it off.)
When the screensaver is showing, and it locks the screen,
and it is configured to require a password, and you hit any key,
the password box is shown over a blurred version of the most recent screensaver image.
When your computer goes to sleep by timeout or when you choose Lock Screen or Sleep, and you wake it by hitting a key.
The password box is shown over the desktop background for your first Mission Control space.
If you change your desktop picture, the login screen will be different.
When you Log Out your username, or restart your computer.
The password box is shown over an image stored in /Library/Desktop/Pictures/Mojave.heic.
The Mojave default is the default sand dune background (in High Sierra it was a blurred version of the High Sierra login screen).
You can change this image (to a .jpg the same size as the Mojave.heic on your computer)
as described here,
or install Onyx and use its Parameters ► Login ► background command.
Bugs/Surprises in Mojave
If you have multiple Terminal windows open, you now switch windows with e.g. cmd-option-2 instead of cmd-2.
This is going to take some getting used to.
A few preferences did not seem to not carry over from my previous version.
Check all your preferences.
"Ask to keep changes when closing" was unchecked in
I checked it again.
Dark Mode is a new appearance for Mojave. White letters on gray in system apps, dark borders on windows.
Some people don't like it or can't see it well.
Some apps look just the same as always.
Some old apps don't work right with it.
Light mode is the default when you install Mojave.
I turned Dark Mode ON for a few minutes.
Then I opened Terminal and discovered that I had white letters on a white background. Not too useful.
I turned Dark Mode back OFF.
You can force Dark Mode off by
defaults write -g NSRequiresAquaSystemAppearance -bool Yes
(To restore the mode, don't change the default to "No", delete it, to avoid crashes.)
The system interface has many Animations as you perform various actions.
If these make you seasick,
you can turn them off by checking "Reduce Motion" in .
This switch also turns off video auto-play in the App Store.
Aquamacs 3.4 seems to work fine for me.
Online forums recommend the preview build of 3.5 to avoid display problems.
Messages has some problems sending and receiving SMS messages.
Some old Fonts may look different on non-Retina Macs, because Mojave disables sub-pixel aliasing.
Ensure that has "Use LCD font smoothing when available" checked.
You may also have to do
defaults write -g CGFontRenderingFontSmoothingDisabled -bool NO
.. and then restart your Mac.
The GraphViz site says to get GraphViz for macOS from MacPorts, and also says that it won't build for Mojave due to API changes.
I was able to run the Sierra version of GraphViz after upgrading to Mojave.
So I'm going to hope that I don't need to rebuild it.
Several features were removed.
Even more will be removed in 10.15.
- Back to My Mac
- Dashboard (can be enabled)
Planning for the next version
Keep a list of the software and devices you use and depend on, so you can check that they are supported.
The next macOS version, macOS 10.15, will probably release in Fall 2019.
Apple has announced the next version of macOS won't support 32-bit execution at all.
To list the 32-bit programs on your system,
there is a section in the System Profiler that lists Legacy Programs.
32-bit programs that won't work on 10.15: Microsoft Office 2011, Adobe Illustrator CS5, Adobe InDesign CS5, Adobe Acrobat Pro 9.
32-bit programs from Apple that won't work on 10.15: Aperture 1 and 2, iWork 09 apps, old tools included with Final Cut Studio and Logic Studio,
Final Cut Pro X 10.3.4, Motion 5.3.2, Compressor 4.3.2, Logic Pro X 10.3.1, MainStage 3.3.
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updated 2019-02-09 16:19